Autocrat Abbas, 84, whose term officially ended in 2009, has over the course of recent months substantially reduced salaries in Gaza, reduced fuel for electricity, and initiated further financial cuts on the already impoverished terrorist enclave.
– Abbas accused Gaza’s kleptocratic rulers of sharing values with Israel.
By i24NEWS, AFP
Thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip protested on Sunday. calling for the resignation of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas following the Ramallah-based leader’s attempts to pressure his rival Hamas with financial cuts in the impoverished enclave.
“Leave!” yelled crowds made up mainly of supporters of Hamas and Mohammed Dahlan, an Abbas rival expelled from the president’s Fatah party and who now lives in exile.
The protesters – mainly supporters of Hamas and Abbas rival Mohammed Dahlan – called on the PA to pay the full salaries of public sector employees in Gaza.
Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 in a near civil war with Abbas’s Fatah.
Protesters demanded increased electricity supplies to the enclave, where residents receive power in around eight-hour intervals.They also demonstrated against Israel’s more than decade-long blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Supporters of Mohamed Dahlan stage anti-Abbas protest in Gaza Strip. pic.twitter.com/j8BKT16Cof
— Khaled Abu Toameh (@KhaledAbuToameh) December 18, 2014
Israel says the blockade is necessary to prevent Hamas, with whom it has fought three wars since 2008, from obtaining weapons or materials that could be used to make them.Multiple reconciliation attempts aimed at restoring the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority to power in Gaza have failed.The last reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah was signed in 2017 but failed to be fully implemented.
While attempting to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas to stop the conflict in Gaza, Egypt has mediated between Fatah and Hamas who continue to argue over a number of matters, so far without success.
Russia has also attempted to assist in the reconciliation process, hosting an intra-Palestinian meeting in Moscow earlier this month.
The relationship between Fatah and Hamas is at an all time low, with Abbas accusing the rulers of Gaza of sharing values with Israel, as well as leaving him out of the ceasefire negotiations in November.
Separately in the occupied West Bank on Sunday, around 2,500 people demonstrated in support of Abbas in the city of Hebron.
Abbas was in Egypt’s Sharm El Sheikh on Sunday to attend a European Union-Arab League summit.
He met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi while there, according to official Palestinian news agency WAFA.
Abbas’s term officially came to an end in 2009, but he has remained in office in the absence of elections.
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