- Gaza’s plight can be blamed on its own leaders
Aug 11, 2017-Palestine usually only makes news when a fresh bout of violence breaks out in this occupied Arab land. Fissures within the Palestinian camp need to be addressed to form a united front against the Israeli occupation and to secure the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights. In this regard, Mahmoud Abbas’s recent statement to step up sanctions on Gaza is unfortunate. While many states recognise the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority based in the West Bank as the ‘genuine leadership’ of the Palestinians, Hamas has been running Gaza’s affairs since it took over the tiny coastal strip in 2007. Whatever Fatah’s differences with the Islamist Hamas, it must be asked what increasing sanctions—in effect punishing Gaza’s people—will achieve. The PA in the past has also reportedly asked Israel to cut off Gaza’s electricity; as it is, the strip barely gets a few hours of electricity a day. It has been a decade since Israel enforced a blockade of Gaza, supported by Egypt. These measures, far from weakening Hamas, are only adding to the miseries of Gaza’s two million people. Fatah and Hamas must resolve their differences at the negotiating table; collective punishment of Gaza’s people is unacceptable. Indeed, the plight of the Palestinians becomes all the more desperate when an Israeli occupation is supplemented by the actions of their own leaders.
Published: 11-08-2017 07:58