RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Hamas police wielding clubs beat and pushed residents out of dozens of homes in the southern Gaza town of Rafah on Sunday before knocking the buildings down with bulldozers, residents said.
Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers said the homes were built illegally on government land. Newly homeless residents were furious over Palestinians on bulldozers razing Palestinian homes.
For years, Palestinians have criticized Israel for destroying houses, mostly because they were built without permits issued by the military. Now, Rafah residents complained, their own government, run by the Islamic militant Hamas that seized power in Gaza in July 2007, has done the same.
“They promised reform and change – instead they’ve destroyed our homes,” shouted Miasar Gan, a 54-year-old woman. Gan said she and her husband had nowhere else to go.
“I found my mattress, and that’s where I’ll be sitting,” she said, standing next to the concrete chunks – all that was left of her house.