Last Updated 8/15 12:15 PM EST
A significant clash erupted in the Gaza Strip today when the small Islamist faction the Jund Ansar Allah held a rally in a mosque, where leader Abdel-Latif Moussa declared the tiny enclave an “Islamic emirate” which would enforce Islamic rule, beginning in the border city of Rafah.
Hamas forces raided the mosque, sparking a battle which left at least 24 killed and over 150 wounded, including six Hamas members. Moussa was among the killed, and Hamas claims he took his own life. Hamas officials have criticized the group for being allied with other foreign militant groups (including allegedly al-Qaeda) and denounced them for “wrong thinking.”
Though Hamas is something of an Islamist group itself, it is also heavily invested in Palestinian nationalism, and has openly objected to the Jund Ansar Allah’s more globalist viewpoint. Jund Ansar Allah, for its part, has publicly condemned Hamas for obeying the seven month long ceasefire with Israel.
Jund Ansar Allah has also sought to establish a second “emirate” in Jerusalem recently and has repeatedly accused Israel of plotting to destroy the al-Aqsa mosque. The move in Gaza appears to be an attempt to rally more fighters to its banner, which would likely imperil the Gaza Strip ceasefire. It has vowed revenge against Hamas for the raid.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Taliban Awash in US Arms, Vehicles, Complicate Afghan War - July 25th, 2017
- Blockading States Expand Qatar 'Terror' Blacklist - July 25th, 2017
- US SOCOM Chief Claims 60,000 to 70,000 ISIS Fighters Killed so Far - July 25th, 2017
- Trump Pledges Support for Lebanon's Anti-ISIS Push - July 25th, 2017
- Video Shows Six Minute Gunbattle in Which Jordan Guard Killed US Troops - July 25th, 2017