Palestinians started a nationwide general strike on Tuesday in order to protest the continuous Israeli bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip, according to Palestine News and Info Agency (WAFA).
All economic, commercial, and educational establishments in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, and Palestinian villages and towns in Israel closed their doors as part of the nationwide strike, WAFA stated.
As Israeli aerial and artillery attacks on the Gaza Strip continue for the ninth day in a row, more than 200 Palestinians, including 61 children, have been killed and over 1,300 others were wounded in the besieged country.
Palestinians walk past shuttered Palestinian stores in the city of Ramallah, as a general strike is observed in the occupied West Bank and Arab Israeli cities in solidarity with Gaza and Jerusalem, on May 18, 2021. AFP
Tuesday's nationwide Palestinian general strike, the first such strike since the six-month long Palestinian general strike against the British mandate in 1936, is also being held in response to settler mob violence against Palestinians, the forcible expulsion of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, and days of assaults against the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, according to WAFA.
Palestinian political parties, unions, syndicates, and popular movements published statements backing the call for the general strike, urging their members and all Palestinians to take part in it, WAFA added.
In the last two weeks, Palestinians inside Israel (also known as 1948 Arabs) have joined in protests against Israeli aggression in East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Israel has mobilised its security forces to crackdown on Palestinian protesters in mixed israeli cities such as Lod (El-Led) and others.
Meanwhile, Israel killed more than 20 Palestinians and injured hundreds in a crackdown on protests in the West Bank.
A Palestinian vendor pushes a cart loaded with bread during a general strike, in the West Bank city of Nablus, Tuesday, May 18, 2021. AP
The call for the general strike has been supported by the Arab High Follow-up Committee, which called for the approximately 1.6 million Palestinian citizens living in Israel to observe the strike, as Palestinians in refugee camps and worldwide are also expected to take part in peaceful protests in condemnation of Israeli aggression, according to WAFA.
The Fatah Central Committee has also called on Palestinians to adhere to the strike, describing it as a “day of rage”, and the world to confront the Israeli occupation authorities’ attempts to “ignite a religious conflict” through forced expulsions in Jerusalem.
The Palestinian national and Islamic coalition also released a statement in support of the strike, which will see Palestinians everywhere embodying their national unity under the Palestinian flag, WAFA stated.
A man walks past shuttered Palestinian stores in Hebron city, as a general strike is observed in the occupied West Bank and Arab Israeli cities in solidarity with Gaza and Jerusalem, on May 18, 2021. AFP
The Gaza Electricity Distribution Company’s (GEDCO) spokesperson warned on Monday that a total blackout could take place within days in the Gaza Strip if no new fuel is brought in to power the last remaining turbine at Gaza’s power plant.
Mohamed Thabeth, spokesperson for GEDCO, said that the currently available quantities of fuel can help them generate electricity for two or three days maximum.
Thabeth has called on Israel to open the Karam Abu Salem border crossing in order to allow the entry of fuel into the strip.
GEDCO said that their preliminary estimate of losses due to the Israeli assault on Gaza has reached $8 million.
A Palestinian man walks past shuttered stores in Arab east Jerusalem, as a general strike was observed on May 18, 2021 in Arab Israeli cities and Palestinian towns in Gaza and the occupied West Bank to protest Israel's occupation and air campaign on the Gaza Strip. AFP