WATCH: Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza protest Hamas, burning the terror group’s flags

“The people want the regime to fall.”

By World Israel News Staff

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets across the Gaza Strip to protest against the Hamas ruling terror group, which cracked down on protesters with violent arrests.

Demonstrators expressed their frustration about the high cost of living, and electricity and gas shortages in Khan Younis and other parts of the Strip. Chants of “what a shame,” “They sold Gaza for dollars”, and Arab Spring favourite, “The people want the regime to fall!” rang out in the streets as some protesters burned Hamas flags.

Protesters also expressed their frustration at Hamas policy of skimming 15% of monthly Qatari stipends to the Strip’s poorest families.

Protesters, who were galvanized by an anonymous online initiative called “the mocking virus,” are set to continue their dissent this coming Friday.

The demonstrations have angered Hamas leaders, many of whom reside in Qatar, Turkey, and Lebanon, and who are usually quick to suppress any hint of dissent.

Four years ago, people rallied under the motto “We want to live!” but the protests were rapidly quelled by Hamas security forces and members of its armed wing, Izaddin al-Qassam.

Hamas at the time implicated its political rival, the ruling Fatah faction led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as being responsible for instigating the protests.

Last week saw reconciliation talks collapse once again between Fatah and Hamas. Abbas met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Turkey to explore “national unity” governance and put an end to the longstanding dispute that arose post the 2006 parliamentary election victory by Hamas and the two later attended a conference with multiple Palestinian factions in Egypt.

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Hamas refused to accede to Abbas’s call for supporting a “peaceful popular resistance” against Israel, according to The Jerusalem Post. The terror group further asserted its refusal to acknowledge any political program that recognizes Israel or the accords signed between Palestinians and Israelis over the past thirty years.