Gaza Salafi Militant Killed Fighting for Islamic State in Libya

islamic jihad
Christopher Furlong/Getty

TEL AVIV, Israel – A Salafi militant who fled his native Gaza following persecution by Hamas police was apparently killed while fighting for the Islamic State in Libya, Salafi sources in the Strip told Breitbart Jerusalem.

Mohammed Eldalu’s death demonstrates the extent of IS’s influence over young Gazans, over a hundred of whom have fought for the organization in Iraq, Syria, and more recently Libya. To date, some 30 Palestinian jihadis have been killed in battle.

Eldalu was part of a group of Gaza Salafists who clashed with Hamas troops in the wake of last year’s Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, which the ruling party condemned and their opponents celebrated. A few months later, jihadis launched a string of attacks against Hamas officials, who responded with a brutal crackdown.

Suspecting that the perpetrators had been assisted by sympathizers from within its ranks, Hamas launched an extensive campaign against Gaza jihadi groups and their presumed collaborators.

Eldalu evaded arrest, slipped out of the Strip, and spent a few months with Welayat Sinai, IS’s affiliate in the Sinai peninsula, according to jihadi sources. In November, he traveled to Libya together with other Palestinian jihadis, and was killed during a firefight with a rival militia on Sunday, the sources say.

Gaza jihadi and former Hamas fighter Mufleh Abu Azra was also killed in battle in Libya. He fled the Strip in 2014 after Hamas suspected he had been involved in the bombing of the French cultural center in Gaza.