Monday, August 17, 2009
Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Islamist fighters challenge Hamas - 16 Aug 09
"Hamas says it has put an end to what has been seen as the greatest challenge to its control of Gaza since it took over the Strip.
The political and military group is being blamed for a rise in extremist activity in the territory over the past two years.
On Friday, a little-known pro-al-Qaeda group called Jund Ansar Allah, or Soldiers of the Supporters of God, proclaimed "the creation of an Islamic emirate in the Gaza Strip".
They reportedly claimed Hamas was too liberal and demanded the territory to be governed purely by sharia, Islamic law.
Within 24 hours, Abdel-Latif Moussa, their cleric leader, and a number of followers had been killed in clashes with Hamas security forces.
Is Hamas beginning to lose popularity with the people of Gaza? What is the significance of pro-al-Qaeda groups emerging in Gaza? And are 'extremist' groups a real threat to the Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip?"