Palestinians protest Abbas’ sanctions leveled against Gaza

Palestinians demonstrated against Abbas in Ramallah, demanding he remove sanctions leveled against the Gaza Strip as part of the ongoing Fatah-Hamas feud.

By: World Israel News Staff

Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated in Ramallah on Sunday against Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas, calling on him to remove sanctions leveled against the Gaza Strip as part of the ongoing Fatah-Hamas feud.

The sanctions include the forced retirement of thousands of PA civil servants and the suspension of social assistance to hundreds of families. In addition, Abbas has refused to pay Israel for electricity and fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip.

Hundreds of marchers followed the lead of the “movement for lifting sanctions imposed on Gaza,” described by the Palestinian News Network (PNN) as a large campaign of academics, journalists and activists who “decided to break the silence” about the measures imposed by the PA on Gaza since March 2017.

The protestors also called to end the Palestinian division and achieve reconciliation, which has so far been elusive despite the reconciliation agreement signed by Hamas and the PA in November 2017

Fatah, led by Abbas, and Hamas have been waging a battle for power and control, and tensions between the two factions continue to rise. Abbas has leveled several debilitating sanctions against Gaza in an attempt to exert pressure on Hamas to cede control.

According to Hamas, the agreement has failed because of Abbas’ refusal to lift the sanctions that he imposed on the Gaza Strip.

Fatah claims that Hamas’ refusal to disarm and cede military and political control of the Gaza Strip is the main obstacle.

In the meantime, the arm-twisting between the two rival parties is spurring intense suffering in the Gaza Strip.

Abbas has threatened to cut all budgets allocated to Gaza, estimated to amount to some $100 million, if the PA is not given full control of the area.

Haaretz noted that this demonstration was the biggest show of solidarity with Gaza by Palestinians in the PA since the beginning of the Hamas-led “March of Return.”