Via the AP:
Gaza's Hamas prime minister was adamant: There is no al-Qaida presence in Gaza, he said, rebuffing what he portrayed as Israeli allegations meant to justify military action against the territory.This is ridiculous on so many levels. Primary among them is that Hamas IS al-Qaeda. Both groups reside cozily under the Muslim Brotherhood umbrella. Both are terrorist organizations and both insist on the complete and total eradication of the state of Israel. It's akin to saying you shouldn't shoot the dog that's about to attack you because it's not a pit bull - it's only a rottweiler.
At the same time, a new homegrown crop of zealots — even if only inspired by the global terror network — is increasingly turning into a problem for Gaza's ruling Islamic militants.
Dismissing Hamas as too tame, Muslim firebrands have challenged the Gaza government's informal truce with Israel — in place since Israel's bruising offensive against Gaza two years ago — by sporadically firing rockets at Israeli border communities. Israel says they also planned to try to cross into neighboring Egypt to use it as a springboard for attacks against Israelis and foreigners.
Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, speaking at a rare news conference for foreign reporters on Wednesday, suggested that claims of an al-Qaida foothold are part of an Israeli attempt to further discredit the group already shunned by much of the world and to perhaps justify action against Gaza in the framework of the global war against terror.
"There is no such thing as al-Qaida in Gaza," Haniyeh insisted. "The Palestinian resistance does not work outside the borders of Palestine."
h/t to TedLand