A Hamas commander has accused the leaders of his own organization of collaborating with Israel.
Basil Salhiyeh, head of the Qassam Brigades, a military wing of Hamas, also predicted that Israel would invade Gaza next week — and that he has proof.
“I called Muhammad al-Deif to inform him about a dangerous security incident happening in Hamas, but he refused to see me on the pretext of illness,” Salhiyeh said on a video that has since gone viral in the region.
Deif is the head of Qassam Brigades.
Salhiyeh went on to say that “Israel and America will strike Gaza” sometime before Jan. 20.
The outspoken commander, who is nicknamed the “pilot,” was arrested by Hamas today on charges of inciting fear, but not before his statements on Tuesday trended on social media channels around Gaza and the West Bank causing an uproar among Palestinians.
In a video which was released on Tuesday, Salhiyeh made inflammatory accusations about Hamas, which has been deemed by world bodies as a terrorist organization. He even included allegations that Hamas was allowing the Israeli military to build tunnels into Gaza while sitting back and doing nothing about it.
In 2014, the Israeli army actually located and destroyed 31 tunnels built by Hamas that stretched from Gaza into Israeli territory. These tunnels were used by Hamas to attack and kidnap Israeli troops on their side of the border. Salhiyeh insisted that when Israelis living near the Gaza border had complained at the time of drilling and digging sounds, they were hearing the Israeli military building these tunnels, not Hamas.
His incendiary comments were used by officials in the rival Fatah party to point fingers at Hamas for its failure in ruling the Gaza Strip.
The Qassam Brigades officially distanced themselves from Salihiya’s statements.