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Hamas breaks up rally, attacks the press

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Palestinian demonstrators take part in a protest calling for Palestinian political unity between Gaza's Hamas rulers and the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority which rules from Ramallah, on March 15, 2011in Gaza City, as Palestinian activists across the Gaza Strip and the West Bank stage a day of massive demonstrations to call for political unity. UPI/Ismael Mohamad. | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/3173a7e56ee181db3291d32f79878063/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Palestinian demonstrators take part in a protest calling for Palestinian political unity between Gaza's Hamas rulers and the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority which rules from Ramallah, on March 15, 2011in Gaza City, as Palestinian activists across the Gaza Strip and the West Bank stage a day of massive demonstrations to call for political unity. UPI/Ismael Mohamad. | License Photo

GAZA, March 19 (UPI) -- Hamas police violently suppressed a demonstration in Gaza Saturday and attacked journalists, witnesses said.

Security forces raided the offices of CNN, Reuters and the Japanese national broadcaster NHK, all in the same building, CNN reported.

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Reuters bureau chief Crispian Balmer said one staffer was assaulted with an iron rod and another was threatened with being tossed out the window. The attacks were followed by a protest sit-in by foreign journalists and a threat to boycott Hamas press events.

The offices were raided right after uniformed and plainclothes officers smashed a small student rally calling for unity between Hamas and its Palestinian rival, Fatah.

It was the second time in a week that Hamas has attacked media covering demonstrations in Gaza.

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