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Hamas orders Gaza clinics shut

Hamas ordered the shutdown of private clinics in the Gaza Strip run by doctors loyal to Fatah.

Most doctors at Gaza’s public hospitals are paid by Fatah and loyal to its West Bank administration. After cutting their hospital schedule to three hours a day this month on Fatah’s orders to protest the arrest of a prominent Fatah-linked physician, the doctors have been receiving patients in expensive private clinics.

Hamas on Monday said it was closing the clinics immediately, The Associated Press reported, and said doctors who do not comply will be fired from their hospital jobs.

A physician who identified himself only as Dr. Nabil, for fear of Hamas retribution, said doctors would resist the shutdown order.

“We will not allow them to close the clinics down,” he told A.P.

Patients complained they were caught in the middle of the struggle between the government of President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in June after routing Fatah forces.

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