Fatah supporters scuffle with Hamas men at Gaza demonstration

August 24, 2007 14:33


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Hamas security men scuffled with rowdy Fatah supporters, fired in the air and detained journalists at a protest against the Islamic group's rule in the coastal strip. Hamas gunmen fired over the heads of hundreds of demonstrators who gathered after Friday prayers organized by the rival Fatah movement. The protesters converged on a former Fatah compound in Gaza City now occupied by Hamas, chanting pro-Fatah slogans, throwing stones and empty bottles and waving yellow Fatah flags. The compound was seized by Hamas in June, when the Islamic insurgents took over the Gaza Strip in five days of fighting. When several Hamas security men roughed up a Reuters TV cameraman filming the protest and tried to confiscate his camera, protesters surrounded the Hamas men, beat them to the ground and prevented the cameraman's arrest. The demonstrators cursed the Hamas men, calling them "Shi'ites" - a derogatory allusion to Hamas' alliance with the Shi'ite Muslim regime in Iran. The Hamas men also detained a photographer working for Agence France Press outside his office and broke a TV camera belonging to the Arabic-language TV network al-Arabiya.

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