HEBRON (PALESTINE)

Mideast:PA police and Hamas demonstrators clash in Hebron

HEBRON (PALESTINE), DECEMBER 14 - Palestinian Authority (PA) police and Hamas demonstrators have clashed today in Hebron, in the northern part of the West Bank, during a gathering of Hamas members and supporters to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Islamic movement in the Gaza Strip. A similar initiative was held - but without any incidents of note - yesterday in Nablus (also in the West Bank), in what was Hamas's first demonstration in the Occupied Territories since 2007, following the split between the two organisations. In Hebron there were an estimated 5,000 demonstrators, who had gathered in the square in front of the largest school in the city not far from the Old City. Several local representatives of Hamas - most of whom had their faces covered as a precaution against any potential retaliatory actions from Israel or the Palestinian Authority, according to Al Quds Television correspondent Akram Natsheh - harangued the crowd. In a video connection from Gaza, Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh also spoke to those taking part, exalting the movement's role during the Israeli 'Pillar of Defence' military operation. (ANSAmed)

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