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Hamas security break up Gaza protests

GAZA CITY

Hamas security broke up protests in the Gaza Strip Thursday, eyewitnesses said, cracking down on a rare public show of dissent in the Palestinian territory.

Dozens of security officials, many in plain clothes, dispersed a demonstration in northern Gaza, the eyewitnesses said.

Dozens of people had been protesting there.

Journalists were prevented from filming or taking pictures at the protest, an AFP journalist said.

In a separate protest in central Gaza, dozens of people demonstrated, including by setting tyres on fire.

The protests had been organised to call for an improvement in the quality of life in Gaza, which Israel has blockaded for more than a decade.

They were also seen as a challenge to Hamas, which has ruled the strip since 2007.

Videos posted on social media appeared to show Hamas security firing in the air to disperse the protests.

The Palestinian Non-Government Organisations Network, which includes more than 100 charities, said in a statement it “strongly condemned the campaign of arrests and aggression that the security forces launched in Jabalia in northern Gaza against the right of dozens of citizens.”

It said the protesters were “gathering peacefully to demand an improvement in the life quality in the Gaza Strip”.

(AFP)

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