Hamas police fire live rounds to scatter thousands protesting electricity blackouts


An AFP photographer in Jabalya said that Hamas police fired live rounds and used batons to strike protesters & journalists (himself included) demonstrating against massive power cuts from the Hamas-run electricity company.

By i24news – AFP


Hamas police on Thursday fired live rounds into the air to disperse a mass demonstration against the electricity crisis in the coastal enclave.

Thousands took to the streets in the Jabalya refugee camp to protest power outages that have occurred repeatedly in recent weeks, and marched towards the headquarters of Hamas-run electricity company in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

An AFP photographer in Jabalya said that police also used batons to control the protesters, and the photographer was hit in the head.

The photographer said that a number of marchers threw stones at the building.

Iyad al-Bozum, a spokesman for the Hamas-run interior ministry, told AFP the march spilt onto the street of the camp “naturally” but that security forces stepped in when “rioting” started.

A series of protests against the Hamas-run electricity company has been met with a number of arrests, according to the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network.

A notable Palestinian singer-comedian was arrested Wednesday, a source said, after he made a video about the electricity crisis in the enclave.

Adel Meshoukhi was summoned by police and arrested, an interior ministry source said.

Meshoukhi had published an online video about the ongoing shortages of electricity and employment in Gaza which included the line “Hamas enough”.

It has been viewed more than 150,000 times.

Musical comedian Meshoukhi, who has been detained previously, is perhaps best known for an ode to a cat.

Only 28 percent of the electricity used by the Gazan population is produced in Gaza. The remainder is supplied by Israel and Egypt.

The more than two millions residents of Gaza have been receiving just four hours a day of electricity since the end of last year, as opposed to normal alternating eight-hour cycles.

The Islamist Hamas has controlled the tiny Palestinian strip, sandwiched between Israel and Egypt, since 2007.

(Staff with AFP)


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