Hamas supporters rally in protest of Abbas "tight measures" in Gaza

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-15 01:36:24|Editor: yan
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GAZA, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of Hamas movement supporters and leaders rallied on Friday afternoon against what they termed as "tight security measures" by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas against the Gaza Strip.

Protests were organized in several areas in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave, including the southern city of Khan Younis. Hamas supporters chanted slogans against Abbas and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).

"Tightening measures, imposed on the Gaza Strip for more than 10 years by the Israeli occupation and by Abbas, will blow up into the face of the occupation," Sallah al-Bardaweel, a senior Hamas leader, told the demonstrators.

"It's a new plot and a new conspiracy that target our people, so we won't keep silent and keep being patient toward it. If the Israeli occupation stands behind this plot against Gaza, it should know that this plot would harm it," he added.

A few days ago, Abbas warned that he is determined to take unprecedented measures in the Gaza Strip, mainly by drying up the financial resources of Gaza's public services the PNA has been financing over the past decade.

Hamas violently seized control of the Gaza Strip 10 years ago. Since then it has been ruling it with deepening internal division between the coastal enclave and the West Bank.

The PNA has been financing the sectors of education, health and social welfare in Gaza and paying monthly salaries of more than 70,000 employees there, including civil servants and security officers.

Last month, the PNA consensus government cut 30 percent of the salaries of those employees who, encouraged by the government, have not worked since Hamas violent takeover of the Gaza Strip.

PNA officials said they have been financing the internal division, while Hamas is ruling the Gaza Strip and refuses to end the division and hand the Gaza Strip over to the PNA.

One of the public services that the PNA covers is electricity, where the PNA is paying for fuel that operates the Gaza Strip's main power station.

On Friday, Hamas authorities decided to turn off electricity generators and turbines all over the Gaza Strip for four hours in protest of the planned security measures that Abbas vowed to take against Hamas rule in the coastal enclave.

So far, there has been no practical measures taken against the Gaza Strip.