One of the most notable political processes currently taking place in Hamas-ruled Gaza is the growing prominence of “Salafi jihad” organizations.
The attempt in August by the Hamas authorities to suppress the Jund Ansar Allah group in southern Gaza momentarily cast the spotlight on the growth of the Salafis. They have not gone away.
Following Hamas’s mini-crackdown, the Salafi groupings have continued to grow. Salafi sentiments and loyalties proliferate among rank and file Hamas militants, in particularly in the movement’s armed wing – the Kassam Brigades.
A complex myriad of Salafi groups exists in Gaza. A key question is whether they will succeed in unifying, in order to pose a more serious challenge to the Hamas authorities.
young former gunmen of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Hizb al-Tahrir party are increasingly being attracted to the Salafi groups. The reason is quite simple. A considerable number of young Gaza Palestinians want to engage in “armed struggle” and military action against Israel.