Hamas detains rights workers as it disperses Gaza protests

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinian rights groups say Hamas briefly detained four of their researchers as it dispersed protests in Gaza against recent tax hikes.

Hundreds of Gazans gathered for a third day on Saturday to protest the tax hikes, which have made life even harder in the territory. Gaza has been under an Israeli and Egyptian blockade since Hamas seized power more than a decade ago.

Two researchers from the Al-Mezan rights group, one from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and one from Al-Dameer were held for a few hours before being released. Online videos show Hamas forces raiding homes, attacking protesters with clubs and firing into the air.

Several Palestinian factions have signed a statement urging Hamas to stop its crackdown and lower the taxes.

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