Rare Gaza Strip protest againt Hamas ends in familiar way: violence

June 21, 2018
Palestinians in the isolated enclave express frustration over ongoing divide with Abbas-ruled West Bank.

A Palestinian demonstrator holds a sign that reads “division is the reason for adversities” during a protest demanding President Mahmoud Abbas lift the sanctions on Gaza Strip. 


Undercover Hamas operatives attacked Palestinian protesters on Monday during a march held in Saraya Square in the center of Gaza City.

The demonstration was part of the Prisoners Movement’s initiative to end the division between Hamas, the armed Islamic group that rules the Gaza Strip, and Fatah, the political party that dominates the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

More than a thousand participants, mainly from the families of Palestinian prisoners, took part in the peaceful march which aimed not only to end the divide but also to remove various sanctions—including the cutting salaries and benefits of Gaza-based PA employees—imposed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas in April. One organizer of the march claimed that families from all of the Palestinian political parties had been invited. A protester further explained that organizers had spent a week trying to get an official permit for the event from Hamas authorities.

In a speech to the protesters, the Director General of the Internal Security Forces in the Gaza Strip, Tawfiq Abu Naim, maintained that there was no intention to prevent the proceedings and that no security forces were embedded among the participants.

“As soon as Abu Naim finished his speech, Hamas members with long beards showed up,” a protester claimed to The Media Line. She added that most of them, armed with weapons, started pushing the protesters, including the females, assaulting them with rocks, sticks, and shoes.

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