GAZA, Feb 28 (Reuters) - A Hamas
security man surveyed the scene on Monday -- 10 activists drawn by a Facebook page invitation to a Gaza
rally for Palestinian unity.
Where's the revolution? he asked with a note of sarcasm.
Within minutes, security forces of the enclave's ruling Islamist movement moved into Gaza's main square. Witnesses said one of the security men punched the organizer of the rally and the other nine protesters obeyed orders to disperse.
We are a group of independent youth. The Egyptian and the Tunisian revolutions moved us and gave us a feeling youth can make a change, the organizer, Ahmed Arar, told reporters before the gathering was broken up.
He said the demonstrators wanted to dissolve the two rival administrations in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank
, where Hamas's rival, President Mahmoud Abbas
holds sway, and promote the formation of a unity government.
Activists had called for the rally on a page of the social networking site Facebook. Ehab al-Ghsain, spokesman of Hamas's Interior Ministry in Gaza, said the rally's organizers had failed to obtain required permits.
They were spoken to and asked to follow legal procedures, Ghsain said. We stress our support for freedom of expression.
Hamas seized Gaza from forces loyal to Abbas in a brief civil war in 2007. Egyptian-led unity efforts have failed to reconcile the two sides.
(Writing by Nidal al-Mughrabi and Jeffrey Heller; editing by Samia Nakhoul)