Having vanquished their rivals in Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement, Gaza-based Hamas gunmen are now turning their attention to the area's small Christian communities and other non-Muslim influences.
As Hamas completed its conquest of Gaza last Thursday, a spokesman for the group appeared on Palestinian television and announced the “end of secularism and heresy in the Gaza Strip.”
Shortly after, a group of militants stormed the Latin Church and the adjacent Rosary Sisters School in Gaza City, reportedly using rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) to blow through the doors.
After gaining entrance, the rampaging jihadists burned every Bible and destroyed every cross they could get their hands on before setting both buildings alight, according to sources who spoke to Israel Today.
Beyond the local representations of Christianity, the purging Islamic forces are also targeting statues.
In a scene reminiscent of Taliban rule in Afghanistan, a Hamas-affiliated group of militants on Sunday uprooted a cement statue from a public square in Gaza City because they said it violated Islamic laws forbidding the erection of statues, which are worshipped by pagans another non-believers.
Some fear that elements within Hamas may go so far as imposing a dress code on women in Gaza.
Earlier this month, a smaller local Islamic group believed to have ties to Al Qaeda publicly threatened to kill female Palestinian television news anchors for dressing immodestly while on the job.
The same group is said to have been behind some 50 bomb attacks on Gaza Internet cafes, record stores, satellite dish vendors and Christian bookstores over the past year.
With Hamas now fully in control of Gaza, many fear the worst is yet to come.