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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Palestinians Riot Near Parliament

GAZA STRIP -- Hundreds of Palestinians demanding jobs clashed with riot police outside the parliament on Tuesday in one of the most violent rallies in Gaza since the Hamas government assumed power seven months ago.

Police fired warning shots in the air to disperse demonstrators, who stormed the gate of the building and hurled rocks as legislators met inside.

"I want a dignified life. I need to be able to feed my family. The new school year is about to start and my children have no uniforms," one demonstrator said. Many of the protesters have not worked for years, having been denied entry to jobs they held in Israel before the start of a Palestinian uprising in 2000 that has deepened poverty in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank.

The demonstration was organized by the Palestinian Workers Union, which is controlled by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement, Hamas' rival. Senior Hamas politician Mushir al-Masri said the government, which is facing international sanctions over Hamas' refusal to recognize Israel and renounce violence, had decided to distribute financial aid to workers within days. In a clear reference to Fatah, he said "a certain political party" was behind the demonstration and hoped to damage the government's image.

Also Tuesday, Israel's air force struck a group of Palestinian gunmen in the Gaza Strip, wounding at least eight people including bystanders, medics and witnesses said.