by Fares Akram
The New York Times
RAFAH, Gaza -- Nidal Eid was praised by Hamas officials as an example of anti-Zionist resistance when he managed to build a house here last year despite an Israeli blockade that barred the import of any building materials. But earlier this week, his house was the first to be demolished by the Hamas government, which said it had been illegally built on public land.
Bulldozers, accompanied by Hamas forces and police officers who beat residents with sticks, razed at least 25 houses, including some concrete structures here in Rafah, the southernmost city of Gaza.
“A bulldozer placed its shovel on the house and the policemen said we have 10 minutes to leave the home,” said Mr. Eid, 30, a father of nine, the youngest of whom was 15 days old when the house was destroyed.
In a scene reminiscent of those 16 months ago, after the Israeli invasion of Gaza, people could be seen sitting on the debris of their houses or in tents, some women burying their faces in their hands. Crowds gathered to offer comfort to relatives or just to witness the demolitions.