The Palestinian Tipping Point

Photo by Trocaire | CC BY 2.0

On Wednesday, 13 June, for the second time in few days, Palestinians took the streets of central Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, as part of a popular campaign launched against the financial sanctions imposed by the Palestinian Authority on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. The hardships imposed by the Fatah-led PA on the tormented coastal enclave include cutting the wages of over 63,000 government employees, refusing to pay Gaza’s electricity bill, ending all spending on ministerial functions in Gaza, and severely limiting support to Gaza’s healthcare ministry and system, including decreasing permits for patients to leave the strip. The aim of the sanctions is to try to topple the Hamas government, in what many Palestinians, especially from young generations, perceive as a cheeky collaboration with the regime of siege and isolation inflicted on the Gaza population by Israel and Egypt.

In Ramallah, the demonstrators defied an order issued by President Abbas which banned protests until the end of the three-day Id al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Ramadan month of fasting. Can you imagine living under military occupation and your own people who claim to struggle for your national liberation impose on you the same measures of the occupying power?

As it has often happened during the recent years, the protests were met with brutal repression: tear gas, stun grenades, bullets shot in the air, journalists and protesters beaten,…

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