Hamas crushed the strongest challenge to its rule of Gaza since it assumed control two years ago. It targeted Jund Ansar Allah–the Soldiers of the Companions of God, one of several small radical groups that make Hamas come across as mild mannered. In the fighting at least 24 were killed including a prominent Hamas leader as well as the head of the radical militants. Radicals have endeavored to increase violence not only toward Israel but the western world.
On Friday, Hamas security forces surrounded a mosque in which 100 members of Jund Ansar Allah were gathered. Their leader, Abdel-Latif Moussa had declared Hamas an Islamic emirate state which would be ruled by Sharia law. Reports indicate Moussa killed a mediator sent to persuade him to surrender and then committed suicide. Fighting continues around the mosque as Hamas seeks to completely destroy the group.
The good news of the crackdown is an indication that Hamas wants to avoid radicalism and ensure no more rockets are fired into Israel. Perhaps, if Israel reached out to congratulate Hamas on crushing radical Muslim groups it would be a first step in the initiation of dialogue.