Palestinians demand end to PA sanctions on Gaza

Palestinians demand end to PA sanctions on Gaza
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Palestinians demand end to PA sanctions on Gaza

Hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets Sunday to demand an end to the sanctions imposed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to show solidarity with the besieged residents of the Gaza Strip who have been under military assault by Israeli military forces since March 30, 2018.

By Mohammed Najib

Journalist Mohammed Najib, based in Ramallah, Palestine

Special from Ramallah, Palestine — Hundreds of Palestinians from across the West Bank demonstrated in Ramallah streets Sunday night, demanded an immediate end of PA president Mahmoud Abbas sanctions on Gaza.

The first of kind public protestation to show solidarity with Gaza since the impose of the sanctions couples of months ago, which organized by left parties, and civil society institutions activists carried a clear message to the PA that its sanctions harms the people not Hamas whose ruling Gaza, therefore it must be ended soon.

“This demonstration calling for the payment of the [PA] employees in Gaza salaries, and the lifting sanctions that imposed on Gaza,” Qais Abdul Karim Abu Layla, a senior leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine told The Arab Daily News.

The angry demonstrators raised banners says “No for the slow death policies”, and “The longest technical mistake in history”, indicated to Abbas statement at the end of the PNC meeting in Ramallah in early May, when he attributed the delay of Gaza employees’ salaries payment to technical error.

Palestinians protest the PA President Mahmoud Abbas' sanctions on Gaza on Sunday June 10, 2018 in Ramallah. Photos courtesy of The Committee to Lift Gaza Sanctions

Palestinians protest the PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ sanctions on Gaza on Sunday June 10, 2018 in Ramallah. Photos courtesy of The Committee to Lift Gaza Sanctions

More banners carried slogans like “from 12-20 hours daily with no electricity, lift sanctions” , and Gaza resists”, as well as “who injured at the fence, how you prevent his medical treatment?”

UN official who watched the demonstration described Gaza situations in a short conversation with The Arab Daily News and asked not to be named; as on the verge of total collapse, indicated to the rapid institutional collapse.

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While the angry demonstrators were shouting “by soul, by blood scarifying you Gaza,” a group of pro-Abbas and PA security services tried to jam the march, and shouted “by soul, by blood we scarifying Abbas,”

Isam Baker, -40 years- one of the demonstrators told The Arab Daily News during the demonstration “the PNC was decided to stop all of those sanctions, and to pay salaries, but right now, it has not paid,” added “this demonstration carry a message that the Palestinian people in the West Bank, and Gaza are one people, and the West Bank stands today beside Gaza, in a wide campaign to end the sanctions,”

Palestinians protest the PA President Mahmoud Abbas' sanctions on Gaza on Sunday June 10, 2018 in Ramallah. Photos courtesy of The Committee to Lift Gaza Sanctions

Palestinians protest the PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ sanctions on Gaza on Sunday June 10, 2018 in Ramallah. Photos courtesy of The Committee to Lift Gaza Sanctions

A Twitter Hashtag titled by “Lift the Sanctions” which created by Palestinian youth activists widely spread and attracted many comment and phots, whereas comments like “Gaza; No electricity, no drinkable water, no salaries, no crossing terminal, no medical treatment, no fuel, Gaza bleeding,” and Gaza suffers the hugest humanitarian crisis in history, where 250,000 unemployed, 13,000 children suffer cancers and requires treatment outside Gaza, and poverty 80%, 230 kinds of medicines are unavailable

The BDS also joined the campaign and called in a statement for intensification of the popular pressure on the PA leadership to stop the punitive immoral and illegal measures against the people of Gaza.

Following the failure of the Egyptian sponsored reconciliation in the first quarter of 2018 Abbas has decided to impose sanctions on Gaza, hoped it would push Gazan 2 million to revolt and topple Hamas regime. The sanction included the stop payment of PA public employee’s more than 60,000 civilian and military employees’ salaries, which considered by Fatah Gaza as harmful against PA people not Hamas, which has its independent budget.

The demonstrators who shouted “The people decided to end the siege,” have considered Abbas decision as collective punishment, while other accused Abbas of driving Gaza toward the unknown “It is incomprehensible how Abbas who oppose Trump ultimate deal, but in the same time drives Gaza toward the unknown,” Khalid Mansour, a community political activist who came from Nablus to demonstrate told The Arab Daily News.

Abbas sanctions included, according to demonstrators; not allowing the injured to leave Gaza for treatment, not sending medical equipment’s or medicines to Gaza, not paying for the power plant fuel or the bought electricity from Israel.

The activists organizers of Sunday night demonstration, called for another demonstration to take place on 12 June from Ramallah center toward the PLO headquarter, which lies near Abbas office

“If the popular pressures increased against President Abbas he may change his position, because the Palestinian regime is fragile and take in consideration the popular pressure,’ Ghassan Khatib, Palestinian political analyst told The Arab Daily News.

(Mohammed Najib is a veteran journalist and writer based in Ramallah, Palestine. Email him at mohammed.najib@gmail.com.)

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