A defense source I spoke to, while preparing this story on ISIS in Sinai for JNS.org, stressed the major difference:
- ISIS smuggles in weaponry, but Hamas can mass produce its own arms without interferrence in weapons factories in its Gaza enclave.
- “In Sinai, there is a sovereign state that takes care of its territory. Sinai belongs to a state that is at peace with Israel. This is a different situation from Hamas, which is a terrorist entity that controls its territory and has tens of thousands of fighters. Or Hezbollah, which controls its territory and has tens of thousands of fighters. Or from Syria, which is a chaotic enemy state.”
- The source estimated that Sinai Province has 500-1,000 members, “significantly smaller than terrorist entities in Gaza and southern Lebanon that have independent control of their areas.”
- “The ability of Hamas or Hezbollah, or organizations in Syria, to threaten [Israel] is far more significant than an organization like Sinai Province, which does not control its own territory, and is being pursued constantly by the Egyptian military,” he said.