A booby-trap car bomb killed a leader of an extremist Islamic faction Wednesday, and armed supporters poured into the streets vowing vengeance against Israel.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion, the first such incident in Gaza since Palestinian self-rule began in May.
But a top Islamic militant spiritual leader blamed Israel for the blast, pointing to a threat by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to hunt down military leaders of the Muslim movement after a deadly bus bomb in Tel Aviv last month.
Hani Abed, 35, died hours after a bomb exploded in the trunk of his car when he opened it in front of a college where he taught engineering in Khan Yunis.
Abed was a leader of Islamic Jihad, an extremist group opposed to reconciliation with Israel that was banned during Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip.
Protests erupted in Gaza City’s Sheik Radwan neighborhood, where residents raised guns and chanted “Death to Israel!”
Islamic Jihad accused Israel and the Palestinian police of assassinating Abed. Abed also had disputes with Hamas, the main fundamentalist group in Gaza, as well as a conflict with cousins over land.