Hamas security forces have sought to quell the demonstrations, which
have concentrated in Gaza City. On late March 15, hundreds of Hamas police
and security officers surrounded demonstrators and stormed the protest area.
At least 20 people were injured in the central part of the city in which
protesters threw stones at police, Middle East Newsline reported. Witnesses said Hamas undercover officers
At Al Azhar University, at least 50 people were injured in a Hamas
assault on student protesters. Witnesses said undercover agents, some of
them driving motorcycles, assaulted and arrested students, teachers and
At least one Palestinian student was killed in the protests, the sources
said. They said the demonstrations on March 15-16 brought out 100,000 people
to the streets throughout the Gaza Strip.
The sources said the demonstrations — which also spread to the West
Bank — have divided the Hamas regime. They said Prime Minister Ismail
Haniyeh has warned against a violent response by security forces while Hamas
military commander sought to end demonstrations immediately.
"I invite the president, brother Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority
Chairman Mahmoud Abbas], and Fatah to an immediate meeting here in Gaza to
start national dialogue in order to achieve reconciliation," Haniya said in
a television address. "I am with the people and in favor of going back to
the people to put an end to the divisions through presidential and