Al Quds (TSN) – Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces have attacked Palestinian protesters marching in the occupied city of Ramallah to demand an end to the PA’s sanctions on Gaza.
Sanctions include refusing to pay bills for the electricity supply coming from Israel; tax on diesel that goes to Gaza’s power plants; reducing salaries of PA staff in Gaza, and refusing to guarantee medical treatment for patients who need to leave the Strip to receive medical care.
Palestinians launched the ‘Lifting the Sanctions’ campaign on June 10 in solidarity with their fellow Palestinians in Gaza, who have been attacked by Israeli occupation forces since March 30 when the Great March of Return began.
Since then over 120 Palestinian protesters have been killed and over 13,000 injured. Israel has faced international criticism for its use of lethal force against protesters in Gaza, and for applying what human rights activists call a shoot-to-kill-or-maim policy.
President Mahmoud Abbas’ adviser for local affairs ordered the prohibition of protests before or during the Eid holiday, which marks the end of Ramadan. Late Wednesday, security forces used tear gas and sound grenades to disperse demonstrators. Videos show the PA using electric batons against demonstrators and confiscating cell phones.
The Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate issued a statement denouncing attacks on journalists. According to reports, two foreign journalists were detained and others had their cameras confiscated. The syndicate said they would boycott government news reports until the people responsible for the attacks were held accountable.
According to human rights center Adameer, 46 people were arrested, among them the president of the Bir Zeit student council. Ten more were hospitalized and their ID cards were taken.
The PA has accused protesters of being infiltrators paid by the United States.
Rula Abu Dahu, the campaign’s spokeswoman, told Middle East Eye: “Of course, the Israeli occupation, which controls land, sea, and air, is responsible for the situation in Gaza, but we will not accept PA’s sanctions on top of the Israeli siege.”
Human rights organization Amnesty International said a member of its staff was detained and tortured by PA security forces.
This post was originally written for and published by teleSUR English and appears here with permission.