ISIS appears ready to announce expansion to Gaza Internet forums and group chatter among ISIS supporters indicate the brutal jihadist organization is debating when to declare the Gaza Strip part of its expansive caliphate, WND has learned. Informed Middle Eastern security officials said Hamas has been preparing a major crackdown on Salafist cells supportive of ISIS ideology, fearing the group could indeed make such a declaration of control over Gaza. The officials further said Hamas has been trying to bribe Salafist ideologues away from ISIS by providing them with salaries while integrating them among the ranks of Hamas’s salaried security forces. Asked by WND for comment on the report, Mushir al Masri, a member of Hamas’s parliament and a media spokesman for the group, denied ISIS was even present in the Gaza Strip. “This is not the first time Israeli and Western media tried to pit us against ISIS. There is no truth to these claims and ISIS is not in the Gaza Strip,” he said. Masri further clarified that “anyone caught breaking the law will be dealt with just like all law breakers according to the criminal justice system in Gaza.” However, just last week Hamas reportedly arrested a prominent ISIS-aligned preacher from Gaza after the terrorist group went on a rampage earlier in a Palestinian camp in Syria. MORE