Gazans take to feet, protest power cuts

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Thou­sands of peo­ple took to the streets Thurs­day in an unau­tho­rized protest against chronic power cuts in the Ha­mas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The Is­lamic mil­i­tant group in con­trol of the Gaza Strip has shown lit­tle tol­er­ance for dis­sent, and it moved quickly to con­tain Thurs­day’s demon­stra­tion. Po­lice fired in the air to dis­perse a crowd of stone-throw­ing protesters and blocked jour­nal­ists from the area. A day ear­lier, Ha­mas-run au­thor­i­ties ar­rested a co­me­dian who made a vi­ral video lament­ing the power short­ages dur­ing the win­ter sea­son.

The demon­stra­tion be­gan in the Je­baliya refugee camp, and as it grew in size, the crowd marched to­ward the nearby of­fices of an elec­tric­ity dis­tri­bu­tion com­pany, chant­ing, “Raise your voice, elec­tric­ity cuts mean death.”

Ha­mas po­lice made way for the crowd but took up po­si­tions out­side the elec­tric­ity com­pany’s build­ing. When a group of youths threw stones at them, they fired into the air to dis­perse the crowd. Later, the protesters ar­rived at the build­ing and gath­ered peace­fully.

In­te­rior Min­istry spokesman Iyad Bo­zom de­nied that any­one had been in­jured.

AP/KHALIL HAMRA

Pales­tini­ans protest Thurs­day against the chronic elec­tric­ity cuts at the Je­baliya refugee camp in the north­ern Gaza Strip.

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