Most Salafis share an agenda with Al-Qaida and believe Hamas broke with Islam by taking part in the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary election – an election which it won, sparking international sanctions. Since Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 from secular President Abbas, Salafis have criticised the Islamist movement for failing to implement Islamic law.
Salafis, whose agenda of global jihad, or holy war, against the West is at odds with Hamas’s nationalist goals.
Another degree of irritation for Hamas is the Salafis’ ability to attack Israel, provoking an Israeli reaction at times when Hamas may be trying to observe a truce.
Hamas officials say they are concentrating on “re-educating” captured radicals, hoping to win them over to a brand of political Islam more in line with Hamas’s own principles.