Rare protests erupt against Hamas' 12-year rule over Gaza

Hamas is facing the biggest demonstrations yet against its 12-year rule of the Gaza Strip, with hundreds of Palestinians taking to the streets in recent days to protest the dire living conditions in the blockaded territory

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- Hamas is facing the biggest demonstrations yet against its 12-year rule of the Gaza Strip, with hundreds of Palestinians taking to the streets in recent days to protest the dire living conditions in the blockaded territory.

With little tolerance for dissent, the Islamic militant group has responded with heavy-handed tactics. It has arrested dozens of protesters, beaten activists and violently suppressed attempts by local media to cover the unrest.

Hamas has accused the rival West Bank-based Palestinian Authority and Israel of orchestrating the protests — a charge that organizers vehemently reject.