GAZA (Ma’an) -- The Islamic Jihad movement launched a march in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday to protest the continued Israeli siege on the coastal enclave, and the Palestinian Authority's (PA) role in exacerbating the suffering of its Palestinian residents.
Protesters condemned the PA’s decision to cut government employee salaries in the besieged territory and said the move was aimed to “drown” Gaza in a crisis.
Head of the group’s media office Jihad Daoud Shihab said that Gaza, like many other parts of the Palestinian territory, has faced extreme difficulties owing to the Israeli siege, yet have remained determined despite Israel’s “aggressions.”
Shihab said that “the truth is being revealed” and that the plans established in the Oslo peace agreements
in the 1990s were created to “force the Palestinian people to kneel and abandon their rights,” and called upon the Palestinian people to maintain their determination and remain unified.
He went on to demand the cancellation of the Oslo agreements, and underscored that this “phase” of Palestinian politics would end, despite challenges caused by the PA’s insistence on attaching the Palestinian cause to the Oslo Accords.
The near decade-long Israeli blockade has plunged the Gaza Strip’s more than 1.8 million Palestinians into extreme poverty, and one of the highest unemployment rates in the world.
Gaza's infrastructure has yet to recover from the devastation of three Israeli offensives since 2008. The slow and sometimes stagnant reconstruction of the besieged coastal enclave has only been worsened by the blockade, leading the UN in September last year to warn that Gaza could be “uninhabitable” by 2020.
The Palestinian national divide and the PA’s cuts to their Gaza-based employees' salaries in the besieged enclave have also served to exacerbate the suffering of scores of Palestinian families, many of whom have risked being permanently separated from each other as Palestinians with West Bank IDs leave the territory in search of employment.