The Palestinian Hamas movement on Wednesday condemned an anti-Muslim film that has sparked deadly riots, as a handful of Gazans burned U.S. flags to protest against the movie.
The low-budget film, "Innocence of Muslims," portrays Muslims as immoral and gratuitously violent. It sparked protests in Egypt and Libya, where rioters attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, killing the ambassador and three others.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum condemned the film as "disgraceful, racist and an insult to the feeling of every Muslim in the world."
"We want to stop all disregard of principles and human values, to put an end to all these misguided policies, and we want respect for Muslim rights."
Tens of Palestinians gathered outside the United Nations headquarters in Gaza City to protest against the film on Wednesday afternoon, burning American flags and pictures of a U.S. pastor who has reportedly backed the movie.
The demonstration was called by a small Salafist group called the Popular Resistance Movement.
"This anti-Islam movie is proof of a clear Western Zionist policy intended to insult Islam in every possible way," a spokesman for the group, Khaled al-Azzbat, told AFP.
"There must be clear responses to the Zionist enemy and the West and we will not stand and watch."
The film that started the protests is available on the Internet but was largely unheard of before the riots, which have sparked widespread condemnation.
They began in Cairo on Tuesday night, where protesters stormed the U.S. embassy, tearing down the American flag and replacing it with a black flag used by several Islamist militant groups.
The protests spread to Benghazi, where demonstrators attacked the consulate, leading to the death of U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other foreign service officials.
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