Just over one week ago, hundreds of Palestinians gathered in Ramallah attempting to protest but were dispersed by PA security forces using stun grenades and tear gas. This week, hundreds again gathered and were able to express their views. “Scrap the sanctions!”, they chanted.
But they were not referring to any Israeli policy. The Palestinians were demonstrating against the Palestinian leadership policies.
The sanctions they were chanting against refer to a series of measures over the past year which have affected thousands of public school teachers, health care workers and other public servants,causing delays in surgeries, among other issues.
There were also rare protests in Gaza, with hundreds of protesters marching for the same reasons as those in Ramallah. Soon after the protest in Gaza began, men wearing the white baseball caps appeared andattacked protesters. Protesters, journalists, and human rights groups, are convinced that the entity behind the violence to break up the demonstration was Gaza’s de facto government; Hamas, despite denial from Hamas leaders.
While the PA has cut funding to public servants in Gaza, the US has cut funding to the PA because the Palestinian leadership refuses to stop paying stipends to convicted terrorists. Further, it has been revealed that Hamas paid the family of 8-month old Layla Ghandour to lie about the cause of her death being at the hands of Israel. The media was quick to blame Israel for the death of a baby at the Gaza border conflict, and while this fake, sponsored anti-Israel news was broadcast widely, the recent revelations were not. If allocation of funding is indicative of priorities, it seems the Palestinian government is not interested in peace.