MidEast

Palestinians Protest Humanitarian and Economic Conditions in Hamas Controlled Gaza Strip

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets on Thursday evening to protest the deteriorating humanitarian and economic conditions in the Gaza Strip, which is under complete political and military control of the terrorist organization Hamas.

The Times of Israel reported that protesters directed their anger at both the Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas. They demanded that the Palestinian leaders address their grievances.

“Where is the future,” “We want electricity,” proclaimed two signs held by two of the protesters, according to pictures shared on social media. “Our requests are justice, living freely and social justice,” read another sign held by demonstrators.

Others held banners with the slogan “open the crossings”, a reference to the Rafah Border Crossing out of the Strip and into Egypt that has been blocked for the most part of the past years, leaving many Gazans unable to leave the coastal enclave.

The unrest comes days after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to cut aid to the Palestinians over the ailing peace process and the PA’s refusal to return to the negotiation table with Israel.

Gaza residents have experienced harsher economic and living conditions in recent months due to a series of sanctions placed on them by the PA because of a power struggle between Fatah and Hamas. The sanctions included cutting electricity to anywhere between two to six hours daily.

The situation has remained mostly unchanged despite an Egyptian-led reconciliation process between the two rival parties. Hamas claimed earlier in December that it had handed complete control of all government ministries to the PA, but Fatah’s top negotiator later said “obstacles” remained.

The terrorist organization continues to hold on to its weapons and military hardware. The question over the fate of Hamas’s 25,000-strong military wing has been the major obstacle in reconciliation talks with Fatah and has raised questions over the terrorist group’s commitment to Palestinian unity.

[Photo: YouTube/ AFP news agency]