When Hamas police raided the mosque attended by Warrior of God group members, 20 people were killed in the ensuing clashes and up to 120 others were wounded. Hamas Interior Minister spokesman Ihab Al-Ghoussein said the area is now under control and that drastic security measures are in place to root out members of the group who may still be hiding. He also expressed regret for any innocent people caught in the crossfire.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority has been quick to condemn the incident as a dangerous example of what it calls Hamas’s brutal and unfair rule in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian Authority Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat said: “It’s very alarming and very dangerous what’s taking place in Gaza, these clashes and these fights… more than 22 dead. Gaza is gone down the drain and chaos and lawlessness and those who rule by the sword will know that the sword will always be the communication language.”
Hamas says that anyone belonging to the Warrior of God group should immediately hand himself in and turn over weapons to the police or security forces, or risk legal prosecution.