May 17 2010
When Israel knocks down the homes of Palestinian terrorists or demolishes Arab buildings constructed illegally in Jerusalem, the international community has a field day condemning the actions of the Jewish state. But when Hamas is the one operating the bulldozers, the world is silent.
The Associated Press reports that on Sunday, Hamas security forces demolished at least 40 illegally built homes in the southern Gaza town of Rafah. Hamas officials said the buildings were constructed without proper permits on government-owned land.
The radical Islamist group says people living at the edge of the town of Rafah had built their homes illegally on government land. Witnesses said dozens of people were pushed out of their homes. Palestinians in Gaza have been angered by the demolitions.
Palestinians are more used to seeing homes destroyed in areas occupied by Israeli military or police for being built without the correct permits, correspondents say. Club-wielding Hamas policemen – and some female police officers wearing face-covering veils – forced people from their homes and then brought in bulldozers.
Residents said they were sold land permits by by a local land owner, but Hamas said the land was meant for government use. “They promised reform and change – instead they’ve destroyed our homes,” Miasar Gan told reporters.
Reporters said they were barred from the area by Hamas until the demolitions were over. BBC