Gazans demonstrate against the deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip by blaming the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Residents, like a former Fatah officer, begin calling top PA officials close to Abbas, for help.

Deteriorating situation in Gaza leads to protests against PA

Deteriorating situation in Gaza leads to protests against PA Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

The difficult situation in the Gaza Strip, cuts in salary by the Palestinian Authority, and a reduced supply of electricity has caused much anger and resentment towards Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. It appears that Gaza residents perceive the PA as the party responsible for the Strip’s deteriorating situation as thousands of Gazans demonstrated in Gaza City today (Tuesday), carrying a large poster of Abbas with the words “Stealing Salaries” written across.

Amid the protests, a phenomenon erupted among some Gazans who are calling senior PA officials and asking for help. One such phone call took place between a former Fatah officer from Gaza and Mahmoud al-Habash, a former minister and close advisor to Abbas.

“Our situation is very difficult, we have electricity for only an hour a day – just one word from you to your friend Abu Mazen [Abbas] and you can put an end to all this suffering,” says the Gazan in a conversation. “Our situation in Gaza is terrible, and you are responsible for us.” The former minister replied bluntly: “Who says? Hamas is determined to rob the state, so what, am I supposed to pay you?'”

The Gazan resident does not give up: “You represent the Palestinian people,” but al-Habash replies in wonder: “What Palestinian people? The Palestinian people who have fallen asleep, who cannot raise their heads. Raise your heads and start moving!” When the Fatah member asked for instructions, the minister said to him: “Either sit quietly or rise up. Those who really want to, can obtain weapons,” but “to carry weapons and shoot at Palestinians, I am against. But go out and make your voice heard.”