Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas on Saturday broke up a Salafist protest against the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in a U.S. raid in Pakistan this week.
Dozens of Salafists – conservative Islamists who have clashed with Hamas – gathered in Gaza City’s main square holding up posters of bin Laden and chanting “We warn you America, we warn you Europe.”
Hamas police forces cordoned off the square, stopped protesters from marching through the streets and ordered them to leave.
Hamas’s head in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh had denounced bin Laden’s killing as an assassination “of an Arab holy warrior”.
Analysts said he was trying to cool tensions with Salafist groups who consider Hamas too moderate and call for a fundamentalist version of Islam based on the faith followed by its founders.