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All 24 victims of Friday's Rafah clashes identified, buried

Aug. 16, 2009 11:11 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 17, 2009 2:29 P.M.)
Gaza – Ma'an – Funerals were held in the southern city of Rafah on Saturday afternoon, just 24 hours after Gaza was declared an "Islamic emirate" by a radical armed group.

Some 24 Palestinians were killed in the clashes that ensued between Hamas' militant wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, and members of Jund Ansar Allah ("Soldiers for God"), thought to be ideologically aligned with Al-Qaeda.

Jund Ansar Allah leader Sheikh Abdul-Latif Abu Moussa was among those laid to rest, as well as Muhammad Jibreel Shamali, an Al-Qassam Brigades leader who died in a raid against the organization in Rafah.

At least 125 Palestinians were injured in the fighting that culminated with Hamas' armed wing storming a mosque taken over by the radical group. According to medical sources in Gaza, about 20 Palestinians were seriously wounded and four were still on life support by Sunday morning.

The 24 slain Palestinians included six members of Hamas' forces, 12 Jund Ansar Allah members, and six non-combatants. At least three young children lost their lives during the battle, presumably among the civilians.

Ma'an could not ascertain the allegiance of each victim, but obtained a general list of their identities:

1. Muhammad Jibreel Shamali, 34, Al-Qassam leader

2. Muhammad Ibrahim Kallab, 24

3. Shayma Al-Aloul, 8

4. Abdul-Rahman Kgadr Mousa, 20

5. Eyhab Mahir Al-Qatrous, 19

6. Ahmad Salih Jarghoun, 19

7. Muhammad Abdullah Ghneim, 35

8. Mustafa Muhammad Al-Louqa, 22

9. Ahmad Muhammad Juda, 23

10. Ahmad Fuad As-Sabi, 30

11. Rafiq Hasan Abu Shbeik, 20

12. Muhammad Mustafa Miqda, 13

13. Jihad Riyad Duhan, 17

14. Ahmad Washah, 10

15. Mahmoud Abu Nada, 20

16. Abdullah Mustafa Awadallah, 22

17. Abu Abdullah As-Suri, known as "Khalid Banat"

18. Dr Abdul-Latif Abu Moussa, Jund Ansar Allah leader

19. Raed Bal'awi

20. Ayman Abu Sabala

21. Muhannad Mousa

22. Rif'at Abu Silmiyya

23. Raed Arabiyyat

24. Hisham An-Natour

Meanwhile on Saturday, survivors of the group insisted the Hamas operation against them was unwarranted. In a statement, Jund Ansar Allah called the assault by Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigades, "a hasty reaction."

Regarding the declaration its leader made calling Gaza an "Islamic emirate," Jund Ansar Allah insisted Abu Moussa had meant no ill will toward the Palestinian people or the de facto government.

"The announcement came following an agreement... which was submitted to other groups for approval under a clear understanding that forbade assaults on anyone's rights," the statement insisted.

The group said its members had done nothing warranting the reaction on the part of Hamas and its security forces, insisting that Jund Ansar Allah's actions were not directed toward any one particular religious vision.

"Anyone who says, 'There is no god but God,' cannot be accused of infidelity," the organization added.
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