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Gaza comedian who criticised Hamas released from jail

Gaza's Hamas rulers have released a comedian who was arrested two weeks ago for posting a Facebook video criticising conditions under their rule.

Adel al-Mashwakhi said he was released on bail on condition that he does not make any more "politically flavoured" works or discuss the conditions in which he was held.

He said that despite the restrictions, he will not stop his work.

"I decided not to talk in politics, but I will not stop presenting my art through singing," he said.

"I can't stop singing and acting. I die without them."

The 32-year-old was arrested on January 11, hours after posting a video blaming Hamas for the lack of basic necessities such as electricity, jobs or freedom to travel.

The video, which is still on Facebook with more than 370,000 views, helped galvanise a protest the next day over electricity shortages.

It was the largest unauthorised protest in Gaza since Hamas took power of the territory a decade ago.

Al-Mashwakhi is well known in Gaza for a series of amateur song clips, but critics complain that his lyrics can be difficult to understand.

AP

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