Gazans on Monday joined in worldwide Muslim demonstrations, many of them violent, against the satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo, which responded to the recent jihadist attack on its Paris office by publishing a caricature of Prophet Mohammed on its latest cover.
“Today, we are telling France and world countries that while Islam orders us to respect all religions, it also orders us to punish and kill those who assault and offend Islam’s Prophet Mohammad,” one protestor told Reuters.
The mob later tried to storm the local French cultural center, but was held back by Hamas security forces.
The Gaza demonstration was attended by local Salafi Muslims. Gaza’s Hamas rulers don’t typically suffer the Salafis to gather en masse, except, it would seem, when that gathering is for common cause.
That was of interest to observers in Israel given that in addition to condemning Charlie Hebdo, the demonstrators also expressed support for ISIS, with many donning the now familiar black jihadist garb and waving the flag of the Islamic State.
Various Salafi groups in the coastal enclave have in recent years significantly increased their numbers from among the Gaza population.