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Fatah protest against Hamas ends in clashes

Fatah protest against Hamas ends in clashes

A protest by Fatah supporters against Hamas rule turned violent Friday when Hamas men began forcefully dispersing the crowd, firing in the air and beating demonstrators and reporters.
Five people were wounded in the clashes, including two French journalists, according to doctors and witnesses.
AP staff covering the protest witnessed the beating of one journalist by Hamas supporters. He was not seriously hurt.
The violence began at the end of a Fatah prayer meeting held to protest against Hamas, which seized control of the coastal territory in June. A similar protest last Friday also ended in clashes and harassment of journalists.
After the Fatah supporters finished prayers, Hamas men began firing into the air to disperse the crowd. The Hamas security forces then began arresting protesters and taking them away in jeeps, and also beat several demonstrators. AP Television News footage showed several uniformed Hamas men beating an unarmed protester with long sticks.
Hamas men in civilian clothes also joined the uniformed forces in dispersing the protest.
A small explosion from an unknown source injured two French journalists, one in his leg and the other on her hand. Neither injury was considered serious.
At one point, a Hamas security building was pelted with small explosive devices, according to an AP photographer on the scene. Hamas security agents responded by firing in the air.
After the clashes, heavily armed Hamas security agents entered AP's offices in Gaza City and instructed staff not to film or photograph a nearby security building from the balcony without prior permission.
Saber Khalifa, a Hamas security spokesman, said his force was rounding up "subverters." He didn't have a number of those arrested.
A Fatah official in Gaza said 25 men were rounded up.


Updated : 2021-09-21 15:40 GMT+08:00