Hamas breaks up electricity crisis protests
GAZA - Hamas security forces broke up a protest in the northern Gaza Strip Thursday, witnesses said, as thousands took to the streets over an ongoing electricity crisis.
The demonstrators gathered in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza for a march, with attendees carrying signs and chanting slogans including "We want electricity".
They headed to the headquarters of the state-run electricity company in northern Gaza, but Hamas security forces fired live ammunition in the air and dispersed them with batons, said an AFP photographer who was injured in the head.
A number of marchers threw stones at the building, he added.
Iyad al-Bozum, a spokesman for the Hamas-run interior ministry, said the march spilt onto the street of the camp naturally" but that security forces stepped in when "rioting" started.
Gaza has seen near daily protests in recent days over power shortages.
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.