World, Middle East

Palestinians stage anti-Abbas rallies in Gaza

There was no comment from Palestinian Authority on anti-Abbas rallies

02.05.2017
Palestinians stage anti-Abbas rallies in Gaza GAZA CITY, GAZA - MAY 2: Palestinians stage a protest against Israeli siege over Palestinian lands and power cuts in Gaza City, Gaza on May 2, 2017. ( Mustafa Hassona - Anadolu Agency )

By Nour Abu Aisha

GAZA CITY, Palestine

Thousands of Palestinians staged demonstrations on Tuesday against President Mahmoud Abbas in the Gaza Strip.

Protesters accused Abbas of participating in tightening up the decade-long Israeli blockade on the Palestinian territory.

"Go away Abbas", and "Abbas does not represent us" were among banners waved by the demonstrators.

Tuesday's rallies were called by Hamas movement, which rules the Gaza Strip since 2007.

"Today is a day of anger for the Palestinian people in Gaza…against the unjust siege and cutting electricity for patients, hospitals and schools," Hamas leader Khalil al-Hayah told participants in a rally in eastern Gaza Strip.

Sumaya al-Dahshan, a female Hamas member, said the rallies aim to pile pressure for breaking the siege on Gaza.

“We call for regaining our rights and opening the crossings and border," she told Anadolu Agency. "We are people only looking for their freedom."

There was no comment from the Palestinian Authority (PA), which is led by Abbas, on the rallies.

Abbas is currently in Washington for talks with U.S. President Donald Trump.

The Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority and Hamas have been at odds since the latter seized control of Gaza in 2007 following bloody infighting.

Last week, a Palestinian official said the PA will stop paying for electricity supplies to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

He said the move is part of PA's efforts "to end internal Palestinian divisions by pressuring Hamas to relinquish [governance of] the Gaza Strip”.

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