Islamic State (ISIS) has steadily been gaining hold in Gaza since taking part in last summer's terror war on Israel, but an attack Friday indicates the terror group may have turned its sights on Hamas to vie for leadership of the coastal enclave.
The car of a Hamas official was detonated on Friday night, according to Al-Akhbar and other Arabic reports.
"Police have opened an investigation after a makeshift bomb blew up the car of Sheikh Sami Hams in Nuseirat refugee camp," south of Gaza City, a security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
While some reports indicate the bombing is part of an internal feud, other local reports significantly reveal that Hams recently delivered a sermon criticizing ISIS, possibly running him afoul of the brutal group.
The official of the Hamas terror organization was not in the vehicle when it detonated and only the car was apparently damaged. Pictures of the mangled wreckage were posted to Twitter.
If the bombing was indeed the handiwork of ISIS, it comes after the group hinted in a publication distributed in Gaza, Judea and Samaria last month that it intends to depose Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA).
The publication emphasizes that there's an obligation for jihad holy war in fighting the police and army of "the rule of tyranny and heresy," giving a not-so-subtle call for ISIS followers to attack Hamas and the PA, and further framing such a coup as a religious command.
Israeli security sources estimate hundreds of Hamas terrorists have been steadily switching over to ISIS, viewing Hamas as "too moderate" in comparison.
An ISIS terror cell was recently busted in Hevron, showing its presence in an area controlled by the PA, and last October ISIS showed its power in Gaza by claiming a bombing attack on the local French Cultural Center.
The car bombing last Friday is in fact the latest in a series of similar blasts, after late last month a Fatah leader's car was similarly targeted, just two days after the car of the Administrative and Financial Manager of the Hamas-run military police, Helmi Khalaf, was blown up.
It remains unclear who perpetrated the various attacks, as no credit has yet been claimed.