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Hamas turns violent on peaceful protesters in Gaza

Rights organizations and activists in the Gaza Strip called on Hamas to stop its violent repression of peaceful demonstrations that erupted there against deteriorating living conditions.
Palestinian men watch as fighters from the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Hamas movement, take part in a military show ahead of the 30th anniversary of the movement's founding in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis on December 5, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB        (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times; color: #101010; -webkit-text-stroke: #101010} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} Coming just days before a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel erupted into an exchange of missiles between the two sides, a Hamas crackdown on peaceful protesters in Gaza has drawn the condemnation of other factions and human rights groups. Hamas, however, says the Palestinian Authority (PA) and President Mahmoud Abbas instigated the protests as a political ploy.

Palestinians have taken to the streets under the slogan “We want to live,” protesting price hikes and the dire living conditions in the Gaza Strip. Hamas’ security forces cracked down on demonstrators soon after the protests began March 14, arresting hundreds of protesters and using violence to disperse the gatherings. Several human rights activists and journalists were arrested; their phones and cameras were confiscated.

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