Palestinians in Ramallah, occupied West Bank, protested against the Palestinian Authority (PA), demanding an end to the sanctions against the besieged Gaza Strip and to the over-a-decade-long Israeli blockade.
According to reports, the protests, which started on Sunday, were organized by left-wing activists with no party affiliation. Over 1,500 people demonstrated in Ramallah’s main square after artists, journalists and activists issued calls to protest in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, where thousands have been injured by Israeli snipers since the Great March of Return began on March 30.
The movement behind the demonstrations is called "Lifting the Sanctions," and has raised the slogan “one people, one concern, one enemy.” They have vowed to expand protests throughout the West Bank until the PA lifts the sanctions against the Strip.
Some Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem also joined the protests.
“Gaza is stronger than the blockade. Say it loudly: the people of Gaza will not die,” protesters chant in Ramallah.
Demonstrators carried portraits of slain Gaza medic Razan al-Najjar and accused the PA of being a “contractor of the occupation” calling for an end to security cooperation with Israel. They also carried signs reading “Shame on you, you sold out Gaza for dollars” and chanted “Get out! Get out Abbas!”
Despite the establishment of a unity government between Fatah, the PA’s ruling party, and Hamas, which has ruled the besieged strip since April 201, the PA has imposed harsh sanctions on Gaza. Sanctions include refusing to pay bills for the electric supply coming from Israel, tax on diesel that goes to Gaza’s power plants, reducing salaries of PA staff in Gaza, and refusing to guarantee medical treatment for patients who need to leave the Strip to receive medical care.
Amira Hass, a Palestinian-Israeli journalist, reported that “activists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front could be seen marching alongside students from Bir Zeit University in Ramallah.”
According to Hass, at the end of the protests, there were huge posters claiming Hamas was responsible for the situation in the Strip and that the PA has disbursed US$17 billion to the Strip since 2007.