GAZA, July 17 (UPI) -- Palestinian police Sunday started removing political party banners and posters from the main streets of Gaza, raising opposition criticism.
An Interior Ministry statement said the chief of Palestinian police, Alaa Hosni, ordered the removal of all banners and flags hung on power and telephone poles, "leaving only the Palestinian flag, since it is the national banner of all Palestinians."
The ministry said the campaign was part of a series of steps to "eliminate all party and group symbols from public places."
Police were seen tearing down the well-known green Hamas flags that are hang over most of the streets in Gaza City, as well as other opposition posters on the city walls.
Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri told United Press International the move showed the Palestinian Authority was "trying to provoke the citizens through such a mobilization and steps."
Tension between the PA forces and Hamas activists erupted on Friday with armed clashes in Gaza that left three people dead and about 40 others injured.