A turf war has broken out in Gaza between the Islamists of Hamas and the Salafist supporters of Islamic State, after a mosque was attacked and several men were taken hostage this weekend.
The incident on Sunday is the most serious indication that armed Islamist groups in the Strip have come to blows, after Islamic State (ISIS) fighters won control of a huge Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus.
Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority vowed revenge last month, after the extremist group beheaded several Palestinians in the Yarmouk refugee camp.
A video on Monday features an Islamic State fighter in the camp, saying: “They [Hamas] claim that they protect those people, but by Allah, they have nothing to do with our Muslim people in Palestine.”
ISIS, which declares Israel its sworn enemy, has recently expanded its operations beyond Iraq and Syria to include Yemen, Libya, Egypt and Somalia.
Supporters have flown the group’s black flag in Gaza, and propagandists from the organisation have ridiculed Palestinian rulers for so far refusing to acknowledge an ISIS presence inside the Palestinian territories.