The Jund Ansar Allah faction has vowed to take revenge against the Hamas government of the Gaza Strip following Friday night’s deadly raid on a Rafah mosque full of its followers, who were attending the formal declaration by the group of the strip as an “Islamic emirate.”
Jund Ansar Allah has also sought to establish an Islamic emirate in the city of Jerusalem, and has condemned Hamas for respecting the post-war ceasefire with the Israeli government. The Sunni Islamist group has sought to import foreign militants into the strip to fight on its behalf, while the more nationalist Hamas insists Gaza must be defended wholly by Palestinians.
The raid killed at least 28 people according to the most recent reports, including a top cleric, Abdel-Latif Moussa, who Hamas claims took his own life during the raid. Rights groups have criticized Hamas for using excessive force in the raid.
Hamas officials have blamed the rival Fatah movement for the group’s sudden acquisition of arms, and say that members of the Fatah security forces it ousted when it took over the strip have been funneling weapons to the militants.