maandag 13 augustus 2007

Hamas verbiedt demonstraties zonder vergunning

Recht en orde in de Gazastrook

Hamas heeft demonstraties waarvoor geen toestemming is gegeven verboden. Een demonstratie door de oppositie werd verstoord door de Executive Force, en journalisten die erbij waren werden geslagen, gearresteerd, en hun spullen in beslag genomen.


Hamas' Executive Force outlaws demonstrations, weddings and celebrations without permission
Date: 13 / 08 / 2007  Time:  10:05

Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas' Executive Force on Monday banned any form of demonstration in Gaza unless its organisers obtain permission.

Spokesperson of the EF, Saber Khalifeh, issued a statement announcing that "for the sake of the general benefit and to secure the rule of law, it is totally forbidden to demonstrate without getting permission from the Executive Force."

He added, "This decision is part of the security plan that the Executive Force has put together in order to preserve the rule of law."

Opposition rally

The Palestinian factions called a rally on Monday in protest against EF actions in the Gaza Strip.

Eyewitnesses at the rally of Palestinian factions said the Executive Force banned journalists from covering the events.

A journalist who attempted to film the demonstration on his mobile phone was arrested.

Palestine TV reported that the leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) headed the rally.

Witnesses said there was a heightened political tension in the Gaza Strip as each side attempted to denounce the other and blame each other for the loss of security.

Palestinian politicians in Ramallah, in the central West Bank, accused Hamas of oppression, the denial of civil freedoms and imposing their sovereignty by force.

In a celebration honouring the Executive Force, Hamas leader, Mahmoud Zahhar, said "the situation in the Gaza Strip is much improved than before, and Hamas' tolerance of the criminal acts of [President] Abbas' militias will not last long."

A spokesperson of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) condemned the EF ruling against public demonstrations and other political activity in the Gaza Strip, he called the decision "illegal" and "a violation of public freedoms".

100s take part

Demonstrators said that the EF attempted to block the arrival of buses carrying protestors to the rally in Unknown Soldier Square in Gaza City.

Members of the EF confiscated Palestinian and factional flags.

Despite the obstacles, hundreds of Palestinians participated in the rally.

Fatah leader in the Gaza Strip, Kareem Mreish, said "the peaceful rally was only meant to reflect the demonstrators' opinions.

"The EF confiscated the camera of Abu Dhabi TV's Muhammad Sawalha, after beating him. They also took the equipment of Ramatan news agency staff, in addition to mobile phones which were being used as cameras.

"They fired gunshots into the air to disperse demonstrators."

Member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine - Central Committee, Talal Abu Zharifa, said "the DFLP participated in the rally to express their rejection of the divisions in the Palestinian arena."

Abu Zharifa said "the PLO has its own history and will not allow the EF to impose conditions on it."

Weddings and functions

The ministry of interior in the deposed Palestinian government said on Monday that Palestinian citizens of the Gaza Strip must obtain permission before holding a wedding party or public festival in open squares.

The ministry stipulated that permission must be received 48 hours before such an event commences.

The ministry claimed that such measures are intended to guarantees public security.

Shooting into the air or the use of fireworks is also banned during such celebrations, by the interior ministry, who also stated that citizens are forbidden from closing off main streets to celebrate.
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