A protest by Fatah supporters against Hamas rule turned violent Friday when Hamas men began forcefully dispersing the crowd, firing in the air and beating demonstrators and reporters.Where is the outcry against Hamas for beating and intimidating journalists covering events in Gaza?
AP staff covering the protest witnessed the beating of one journalist by Hamas supporters. He was not seriously hurt.
The violence began at the end of a Fatah prayer meeting held to protest against Hamas, which seized control of the coastal territory in June.
A similar protest last Friday also ended in clashes and harassment of journalists.
After the Fatah supporters finished prayers, Hamas men began firing into the air to disperse the crowd. The Hamas security forces then began arresting protesters and taking them away in jeeps, and also beat several demonstrators. AP Television News footage showed several uniformed Hamas men beating an unarmed protester with long sticks.
Hamas men in civilian clothes also joined the uniformed forces in dispersing the protest.
A small explosion from an unknown source injured two French journalists, one in his leg and the other on her hand. Neither injury was considered serious.