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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Hamas, PA crack down on solidarity protests

From Ma'an:
Police in the Gaza Strip shut down a demonstration Monday in support of the uprising in Egypt.

Activists said six women and eight men were arrested at a park in Gaza City, where a few dozen demonstrators had gathered.

The women were released after a few hours. It was not immediately clear when the men were freed because they were separated, one of the protesters said.

Asmaa Al-Ghoul, a Gaza-based journalist and writer, was among those detained.

"Hamas police arrested me with group of demonstrators in Gaza in solidarity with Egyptian people," she wrote on Twitter. "Women's police beat me violently" and detained other young women.

They were standing in solidarity with the Egyptian uprising, Al-Ghoul added.

A day earlier, Palestinian Authority security forces shut down a demonstration in front of the Egyptian embassy in Ramallah, after calling in one of the organizers for questioning multiple times a day earlier.

Forces pushed demonstrators and a man who identified himself as a police commander said the demonstrators were in a "security area" and would have to disperse, they said.

The PA banned a similar demonstration in solidarity with the uprising in Tunisia last week.