Several journalists in Gaza were arrested by Hamas militants on Sunday amid violent protests between Hamas security officials and demonstrators who are protesting Gaza’s dire economic conditions.
The Times of Israel reports that the journalists were detained for reporting on the demonstrations and are expected to be released in the coming hours.
The Palestinian Authority’s Wafa news agency said Hamas militants also arrested hundreds of civilians involved in the protests, which began last Thursday. Witnesses told Wafa that masked Hamas terrorists raided homes in Gaza city and several refugee camps before taking people into custody.
Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nation’s envoy to Israel and the Palestinian territories, rebuked Hamas’ actions.
“I strongly condemn the campaign of arrests and violence used by Hamas security forces against protesters, including women and children, in Gaza over the past three days,” Mladenov said in a statement issued on Sunday.
Mladenov said that he was “particularly alarmed by the brutal beating of journalists and staff from the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) and the raiding of homes.”
“The long-suffering people of Gaza were protesting the dire economic situation and demanded an improvement in the quality of life in the Gaza Strip”, he said, adding that it was “their right to protest without fear of reprisal.”
Mladenov said the United Nations will “continue its efforts to avoid escalation.”
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