Dozens of Palestinians on Monday staged a demonstration near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to protest the latter’s ongoing siege on the beleaguered enclave for the eighth consecutive year.
Participants in the demonstration, which was organized by the National Committee to Break the Siege of Gaza, waved Palestinian flags and chanted slogans condemning what they described as “Arab and international silence regarding the blockade of Gaza.”
Protesters set car tires alight along the border between Israel and the blockaded coastal territory.
“We’re here to express our anger about the continued indifference of Arab leaders and the international community and the continuation of the Israeli siege,” demonstrator Abdel-Rehim Habib told The Anadolu Agency.
“We need a quick solution… our homes were destroyed [by Israeli assaults]; we’re living in tents and still everyone remains silent,” Habib said.
Gaza has groaned under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2006, which has deprived the coastal enclave’s roughly 1.8 million inhabitants of their most basic needs.
Israel first imposed the siege after Hamas – which Israel considers a “terrorist” group – won a majority of seats in 2006 Palestinian legislative elections.
The siege was tightened further after Hamas took control of the entire coastal territory in 2007 after routing forces loyal to the West Bank-based Fatah movement.
The blockade remained in force, however, even after Hamas entered into a new Palestinian unity government with Fatah almost one year ago.
In July and August of 2014, more than 2,160 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were killed and some 11,000 injured – mostly civilians – during a 51-day Israeli military onslaught.
The offensive finally ended on Aug. 26 with a cease-fire signed in Cairo between Israel and Palestinian resistance factions. (Anadolu Ajansi)