Armed clashes between Hamas and al Qaeda in Rafah leave 23 dead, 120 injured
Six Hamas combatants including a senior commander and two al Qaeda cell leaders were among the 23 killed in gun battles between Hamas forces and hundreds of members of the al Qaeda offshoot Jund Ansar Allah in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah Friday Aug. 14. Another 120 were injured. debkafile‘s military sources report that Hamas special units fired mortars and heavy machine guns into the Ibn Thaymas mosque after the Jund leader, Abdullah al Latif Mussa proclaimed the Gaza Strip an al Qaeda emirate. He urged all its inhabitants to defy Hamas rule and take an oath of allegiance to al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. After storming the mosque, Hamas forces blew up the Jund leader’s four-storey home with all its occupants. Mussa and a second al Qaeda cell leader known as “the Syrian” were reported killed.
Our counter-terror sources report that in recent months terrorist groups identified with al Qaeda are spreading out through the southern Gaza Strip, drawing recruits with plentiful cash, weapons and explosives. They accuse Hamas of failing to fully establish Islamic law in the enclave.
Jund Ansar Allah was held responsible for the failed attack on horseback on a border crossing between Gaza and Israel.