Thousands of people hit the streets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday to protest against living conditions in the coastal enclave, in a rare public stand against the Hamas government.
The terror group’s security forces quickly dispersed the demonstrators, who were burning Hamas flags and chanting, “Where is the electricity and where is the gas?” and “What a shame. What a shame.”
Police destroyed protesters’ mobile phones in the southern town of Khan Younis. Protests also took place in Gaza City and in other locations across Gaza.
Activists called for a solution to chronic power outages and criticized Hamas for deducting a $15 fee from the monthly $100 stipends provided by Qatar to poor families.
It was reported earlier this month that Hamas has been unable to pay the salaries of 50,000 public sector workers, due in part to a delay in Qatari financial assistance. Qatar sends $30 million per month to the Gaza Strip, to pay for public sector wages, stipends for families and fuel for electricity.
Hamas has ruled the Gaza Strip with an iron fist since its violent takeover in 2007, causing a rift with Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah terror group.
Palestinian terror factions, including Fatah and Hamas, met in Egypt on Sunday to discuss reconciliation efforts.
According to the P.A.’s Wafa news agency, the one-day talks in the Mediterranean coastal city of El-Alamein were to focus on “the latest developments in the Palestinian arena and ways to restore national unity and end the division in light of the great challenges facing the Palestinian cause aimed at liquidating the Palestinian national project.”
Meanwhile, Fatah and Islamist factions clashed for a third day on Monday in the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon.
A Lebanese army spokesman said that the death toll from fighting at the Ein el-Hilweh camp southeast of the port city of Sidon had reached six.