GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Tensions are ongoing between the Hamas movement and the Salafist Ansar al-Dawla movement, which in February publicly declared its support for the Islamic State (IS), to which Hamas is opposed and which in turn does not look favorably upon Hamas. Meanwhile, on May 17, Hamas allowed another Islamic group, Hizb ut-Tahrir (Party of Liberation), to stage an event in the center of Gaza commemorating the 94th anniversary of the fall of the Islamic caliphate, last led by the Ottomans. Hamas appears to be opposed to Islamic groups that support IS and its self-proclaimed caliphate, but does not have a problem with other Islamic groups acknowleging the abolished caliphate and hoping for its re-establishment.
The Hizb ut-Tahrir gathering was allowed to take place a few weeks after Hamas began a crackdown against Salafist groups in the name of preserving stability after a dispute between Hamas and Ansar al-Dawla. The security measures, which began in April, also followed in the wake of a series of anonymous bombings, including ones next to the Abu Mazen roundabout and internal security headquarters, outside the offices of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and at the prosecutor general’s headquarters. Results from investigations into these incidents have not been made public.