Tuesday, March 19, 2019

"We want to live"

Several human rights organisations and political factions have denounced attacks on protesters by Hamas security forces in the Gaza Strip, who had demonstrated for several days against the increasing cost of living and tax hikes. Protesters said they were attacked with batons by Hamas forces while protesting against the dire living conditions in Gaza Strip.
The new movement was launched about a month ago, with the slogan "we want to live", by a group of media activists not affiliated to political parties. The first protest, which took place on Thursday, was repressed by dozens of Hamas security forces, who dispersed protesters by beating them and firing in the air. Hamas security forces also broke into citizens' homes and carried out arrest campaigns throughout the strip in Gaza City and Jabaliya refugee camp in the north, Deir al-Balah in the middle district, and Khan Younis and Rafah in the south.
Protesters had gathered near the centre of Deir Al-Balah camp, holding posters and chanting slogans - 'We want to live. We want to work. Our future is lost',"

Israa Buhaisi, a journalist with Al-Alam news channel, told Al Jazeera "This is a popular movement. People took to the street to ask for a solution for their miserable life in Gaza."

Nearly a dozen Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip have declared their support for the youth movement and their support for what the group calls "just demands" - which include establishing a labour office that protects workers' rights from exploitation; ending control of goods and prices by some parties and monitoring the work of the private sector; and suspending all taxes burdening citizens.

Mohsen Abu Ramadan, a Gaza-based political analyst, said that the movement was a result of the unprecedented high rates of poverty and unemployment in the Gaza Strip, which has reached 70 percent among the youth. Around 20,000 university graduates each year find no jobs, which has caused a number of social problems in the strip. Furthermore, the withdrawal of a number of international NGOs working in Gaza has deepened economic problems.

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