Hamas Internal Security Chief Tawfik Abu Naim was moderately wounded Friday morning from a car explosion. Although Hamas officials quickly pointed a finger at Israel, sources involved in the investigation in Gaza reported that ISIS factions in the Gaza Strip are believed to be behind the assassination attempt.

Tawfik Abu Naim

Tawfik Abu Naim Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Although a senior Hamas official previously blamed Israel, sources from Gaza reported today (Saturday) that it is believed that ISIS factions present in the Gaza Strip are behind the assassination attempt on Hamas Internal Security Services Chief Tawfik Abu Naim. Sources involved in the investigation said intelligence sources from Cairo are helping Hamas track down those responsible.

As previously reported by JOL, Abu Naim was moderately injured by an explosive that was detonated near his mosque in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza Strip. Immediately after, Abu Naim was evacuated to the Shuhada Al-Aqsa hospital in Khan Yunis where he was visited by Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political unit.

Immediately following the attempt, Hamas’ military wing declared the Nuseirat refugee camp a closed military zone in an attempt to capture those responsible. A Hamas spokesman said that “an assassination attempt is cowardly, and only enemies of our people and homeland are capable of carrying out such an act.”

Abu Naim at Shuhada Al-Aqsa Hospital being visited by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh

Abu Naim at Shuhada Al-Aqsa Hospital being visited by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Abu Naim, who is a released Israeli security prisoner, is head of the Hamas security services in Gaza – a position equivalent to the Israel Police commissioner. Recently, Abu Naim has become a prominent figure through his statements and tours along the border with Egypt where he oversees the establishment of an Egyptian-requested buffer zone. The buffer zone is intended to prevent the infiltration of terrorist operatives and the smuggling of weapons into the northern Sinai Peninsula.

Earlier this month, a reconciliation agreement was signed between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, under which the Gaza Strip’s civil control would be transferred to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ security services. However, since Hamas refused to disarm under the reconciliation agreement, it is unclear whether there is a connection between the attempt on Abu Naim’s life and issues of the Palestinian reconciliation agreement.