Gazans protest Hamas tax hikes for a second day

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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) Hundreds of Palestinians have gathered in Gaza for a second day to protest against tax hikes by Hamas authorities that have made life even harder in the blockaded territory.

In the central town of Deir al-Balah, demonstrators burned tires and blocked roads on Friday. Witnesses, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, say Hamas forces beat and arrested dozens, including local journalists and activists.

There was no immediate comment from Hamas.

Hamas violently dispersed larger protests held Thursday in several parts of Gaza.

An Israeli and Egyptian blockade imposed after Hamas seized power in 2007, along with three wars with Israel, has devastated the local economy. Mismanagement, corruption and tax hikes by Hamas authorities have added to the widespread misery.

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