Friday, 9 August 2013

Hamas plans to suppress Gaza protest, say activists


Gaza's Hamas rulers are preparing to suppress political activists amid fears that the Palestinian territory could experience mass protests such as those that toppled the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, campaigners have told The Daily Telegraph.

The allegation has come from Ya Felistini Tamarod (Palestinian, Rebel), a group set up following the overthrow of Mohammed Morsi, the Islamist Egyptian president and an ideological ally of Hamas.

The campaigners, who say they are unhappy with the continued division between Hamas in Gaza and the more moderate Fatah group that runs the West Bank, want to emulate the Egyptian experience by organising a petition demanding immediate presidential and parliamentary elections for both territories.

The Egyptian Tamarod movement, led by Mahmoud Badr, claimed to have collected more than 22 million signatures urging Mr Morsi to step down before the army removed him on July 3. Now its Gaza counterpart has drawn fierce scrutiny from the Hamas security services, which fear the political fallout from events in neighbouring Egypt.

The group's first demonstration last week was broken up by uniformed officers even though it was protesting against Israel's plans to re-settle a section of its Bedouin population. "We were shocked," said Ouroula Othman, Tamarod's spokesperson. "Even though Hamas is always talking about resistance against Israel, they thought people might use this campaign against them. Their thinking was affected by what's happened in Egypt." more

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