Hamas defends decision to destroy Gaza houses
Hamas destroyed more than 20 homes in the Gaza Strip claiming they were built without permits, a Palestinian human rights group said on Wednesday. "Twenty families -- about 150 people -- lost their homes," the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) said in a statement.
According to AFP, it added the houses in the southern city of Rafah were demolished by police on Sunday "because they were built on government land." Two more houses under construction were destroyed on Monday in nearby Khan Yunis, PCHR said.
It warned that 180 more homes could soon be razed in Rafah and called on Hamas to "put an end to all house demolition operations," adding that most of those affected were poor people whose homes were previously destroyed in Israeli attacks.
Mohammed Awad, a Hamas official, said the decision was taken by a court and not the government.