Protestors Attempt to Storm Gaza's French Cultural Center

Two hundred Salafi Muslims demonstrated outside the French Cultural Center in Gaza City in protest of Charlie Hebdo cartoons.

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Dalit Halevi, Cynthia Blank,

Hamas police outside French Cultural Center in Gaza following bombing
Hamas police outside French Cultural Center in Gaza following bombing
Reuters

Two hundred members of the Salafi Jihadism movement of Islam demonstrated violently in front of the French Cultural Center in Gaza on Monday. 

The protest in Gaza City was organized as a reaction to the cartoons of Prophet Mohammad published on the front page of the latest issue of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last week.

Demonstrators waved black flags reminiscent of terror organization Islamic State which controls large swathes of territory in nearby Syria and Iran. Many were also dressed in uniforms that resembled ISIS fighters. 

The protestors also carried the pictures of terrorist brothers, Said and Cherif Kouachi, who murdered 12 people during a brutal shooting attack at the offices of Charlie Hebdo.

A French flag was torched by the extremists, who threatened to attack French citizens. 

"In the past we confiscated your merchandise, now we will cut off your heads. Leave Gaza, you French, or we will slaughter you by cutting your throats," chanted the protesters.

The radical Islamists also torched a United States flag, while chanting "Allahu Akbar" or "God is greater."

Palestinian police arrested dozens of the protesters who attempted to storm into the French Cultural Center, which also provides consular services to the some 40 French citizens living in Gaza. 

A scuffle with police broke out near the end of the protest, with police firing bullets into the air in an attempt to disperse the demonstrators. 

The French Cultural Center, the biggest Western public institution in Gaza, has been attacked twice in the past few months - once in October and then again in December. 

On December 12 a bomb was placed inside the building causing slight damage. ISIS members in Gaza took responsibility for the attack.

The cultural center had been shuttered for two months at the time of the attack due to a suspected arson attack in October. 

The Salafists support global jihad as waged by terror organizations ISIS and al Qaeda, but remain in conflict with Hamas, who controls the coastal enclave and has shown little tolerance for them.