Gaza: Thousands protest worsening economic conditions due to PA, ISIS blockade
Thousands of Arabs protested in Gaza on Thursday against electricity cuts and worsening economic conditions in Jabalia, northern Gaza.
The demonstrators vented their anger against both the Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the Islamist terror group Hamas, which runs Gaza.
“Our demands are fair. We want them to provide us with the minimum for a decent life,” said Mohamed Nofal, one of the protesters.
“Life is really difficult in Gaza nowadays. No food, no water, no security, no border crossings, no education and no health,” he told AFP.
Gaza’s two million residents have been subjected to a decade-long blockade by Israel, which imposed the tight controls to prevent Hamas terror attacks on its territory.
The electricity cuts are a result of a dispute between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
The PA announced on Wednesday that it had agreed to restore payments for electricity in Gaza, six months after halting them.
The electricity payments have been a key issue in ongoing efforts at reconciliation between Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah, but they have yet to take effect.
Hamas is set to agree to let the PLO monitor its weapons for reconciliation purposes.
According to unconfirmed reports, Hamas now believes that full reconciliation is the best way to withstand new American and Israeli pressure following Trump’s Jerusalem declaration.
These developments may explain Israel’s restrained response to recent rocket attacks, as it wishes to see how reconciliation will transpire between the factions.
Yesterday, ISIS Sinai affiliate released a video showing the execution of a Hamas terrorist and threatening Hamas for its weak response to Trump’s Jerusalem declaration.
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The Salafist terrorists have been arrested and tortured by Hamas Interior Security in recent weeks for firing rockets at Israel.
The video marks an escalation in the ISIS campaign against Hamas, which began after the Hamas reconciliation with Egyptian intelligence. ISIS terrorists are “blockading” Gaza by cutting off most smuggling lines in the Rafah area and threatening Sinai locals who supply Gaza.
As Hamas is almost completely cut off from it’s smuggling lines, it is now at the whims of Israel, the PA and Egypt to survive. If these entities do not improve the situation in the Strip, Hamas will revert to war with Israel.