Second Demonstration in Ramallah Against 'Sanctions'

Second Demonstration in Ramallah Against 'Sanctions'

Wednesday, 13 June, 2018 - 08:00
Colleagues of Palestinian journalist Yasser Murtaja, 31, who died of his wounds during clashes at the Gaza border, mourn during his funeral in Gaza city April 7, 2018. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
Ramallah- Kifah Zboun
Palestinians protested for the second time in two days in Ramallah, demanding the cancellation of all punitive measures taken by the Palestinian Authority against the Gaza Strip, and the full payment of salaries of employees in the sector.

Dozens of demonstrators, unified within a movement called “Lifting the Sanctions”, shouted against the sanctions and raised slogans, including “one people, one concern, one enemy.”

The movement vowed to continue their protests in Ramallah and extend them to the West Bank to force the Palestinian government to abolish the measures.

A third demonstration is expected to take place in the city on Wednesday “as part of a series of moves to demand the lifting of the unjust sanctions imposed by the Palestinian Authority on Gaza, which aims to subjugate the Palestinian people and break their steadfastness,” according to a statement issued by the movement.

Demonstrations put more pressure on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah to reverse previous decisions taken against Gaza, including the transfer of thousands of civil and military employees to compulsory retirement, and the cutting of employees’ salaries by half for the second consecutive month.

While the Palestinian security services did not interfere or try to prevent the demonstrations, the government pledged to protect freedom of opinion, demanding at the same time the prioritization of unity and national interest and the rejection of “campaigns of intimidation, defamation, incitement and distortion of facts.”

In its first reaction to the demonstrations, the Palestinian government issued a statement denouncing attempts to mislead the public opinion and to divert the attention from the party that is responsible for the suffering of Gaza residents.

The government refuses “to deny the responsibility of the occupation for the suffering of our people in the Gaza Strip after 11 years of siege.”

It also rejected the acquittal of the “black coup” carried out by Hamas, which has imposed heavy burdens on citizens.

The government explained that the salary reductions, promoted as sanctions imposed on the Gaza Strip, were only “temporary,” stressing its commitment to its “national and legal responsibility towards our people in the Gaza Strip.”

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