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Hamas police beat, arrest protesters at Gaza rally

April 29, 2015 7:05 P.M. (Updated: April 30, 2015 9:44 A.M.)
(AFP/ Mohammed Abed)
GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Police in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip beat and arrested protesters on Wednesday at a youth rally in the north of the besieged coastal territory, an AFP correspondent said.

More than 400 demonstrators gathered in Shujaiyeh, a neighborhood in eastern Gaza City that was razed during a July-August war between Hamas and Israel, urging reconstruction and calling for an end to intra-Palestinian division.

Plainclothes police officers entered the crowd, beating a number of protesters without causing serious injury, the AFP correspondent said.

They then arrested at least seven people, according to witnesses.

The Hamas-run interior ministry said in a statement that the crowd had grown violent, forcing police to intervene "to protect the lives of those participating, after which calm prevailed".

The Gaza war, which killed over 2,200 Palestinians and 73 on the Israeli side, has left 100,000 people homeless in the tiny coastal territory, home to 1.8 million people.

Reconstruction of homes has barely begun.

Hamas and their West Bank-based rivals Fatah have failed to implement a unity deal they signed in April last year.

The deal was meant to hand over control of Gaza to the Western-supported Palestinian Authority, which Fatah dominates.

With Hamas continuing to control Gaza, Israel has left in place its eight-year blockade, which has largely banned the import of building materials, fearing they could be used by militants to make weapons.
Comments
Bibi / Israel
"Israel uses its weapons to defend its people and Hamas uses its people to defend its weapons."
30/04/2015 10:06
Outlier / USA
Barring elections (which Hamas will not allow), probably the only way Gazans will get out from under Hamas rule and oppression is to kill every member, starting with the leadership. It may also be the only way for Gaza to gain peace and prosperity.
30/04/2015 21:20
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