Islamic State-affiliated Sinai Province fighters in the Sinai Peninsula.
(photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/ARAB MEDIA)
Islamic State terrorists in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula have received medical treatment in Gaza Strip hospitals, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, charged in an interview with online Arabic newspaper Elaph on Monday.
"We have received authenticated reports that ISIS members in Sinai entered the Gaza Strip through tunnels in order to receive treatment at Hamas hospitals," Mordechai said.
The ISIS operatives are admitted to Gaza from Sinai through the same tunnels used to smuggle explosives, weapons and other goods on the orders of Hamas's military wing, he added.
Mordechai said that Hamas started allowing the ISIS members in for treatment recently in exchange for money, weapons and goods. The move is an attempt to make up for losses to Hamas's coffers suffered due to Egypt's policy of destroying tunnels between Sinai and Gaza, the general said.
Egypt has implemented a policy of flooding the tunnels as part of its effort to fight ISIS terrorists in Sinai, who the regime of Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi believes are receiving support from Hamas in Gaza.
Israeli sources familiar with the situation told Elaph that Israel has updated Egypt on the movements of the Islamic State affiliate in Sinai and provided Egypt with information on the group's relations with Hamas. Egypt is aware that Hamas is treating ISIS operatives from Sinai in its hospitals and views the practice gravely.
The Israeli sources told Elaph that Israel has provided Egypt with photographs taken by drones of tunnel openings between Gaza and Sinai, which has helped Egypt to flood the tunnels in recent weeks.
The comments came after Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said Saturday
that Egypt has flooded the tunnels to Gaza in part due to Israel's request.