Red On Red: Hamas v. al-Qaeda
1. On September 15, 2008 , confrontations broke out between Hamas security forces and members of the Dughmush clan in the Al-Sabra section of Gaza City . The clan is important and powerful in the Gaza Strip. The confrontations began with security force attempts to detain two to its members, and led to the deaths of 11 Dughmushes and the wounding of 46. One Hamas policeman was killed and another wounded.
2. Among those killed and wounded by Hamas were a number of operatives of the Army of Islam , a radical Islamic group affiliated with Al-Qaeda (See the Appendix.) One of those killed was Ibrahim Dughmush, the brother of Army of Islam commander Mumtaz Dughmush, who may have been wounded in the fighting and/or detained by Hamas. The Hamas security forces also seized large quantities of weapons (light arms, RPGs, hand grenades and military equipment). Fifteen members of the Dughmush clan were detained following the confrontations.
3. Hamas represented the events as routine police activities were yet another Hamas step to suppress opposition in the Gaza Strip . Hamas is particularly eager to weaken the local clans (such as Dughmush and Hilles) and the terrorist organizations which do not accept Hamas authority, even if they are radical-Islamic, such as the Army of Islam.4. The Hamas media were quick to represent the Dughmush clan members killed during the confrontations as criminals and the actions of the police as routing anti-crime police activity. However, the large force employed by Hamas indicates that the events were exploited to tighten security and control in the Gaza Strip by the violent suppression of focal points of anti-Hamas power and influence, which the organization regards as undermining its rule.
It's red on red, the best kind of conflict.