Elior Levy
March 26, 2012 - 12:00am

Social justice? The recent energy crisis in Gaza has enraged many of the Strip's residents, who are now launching a new campaign on Facebook, calling to hold a general strike on Thursday.

The campaign organizers are calling on all drivers, business owners, schools and universities to strike as an act of protest in the face of a growing rift between Gaza and the West Bank, and the deepening electricity and fuel crisis.

Organizers noted that the general strike is only the first move in a series of protest acts planned in the Strip if the crisis is not resolved and the Gazan residents' suffering is not alleviated.

While organizers stressed that the campaign is not backed by a rival political party, they also laid blame on Hamas, saying it was not doing enough to resolve the situation.

Though authorities tried to alleviate the transportation crisis by operating governmental vehicles to transport residents, the organizers of the campaign claimed they could do more, such as temporarily freeze tax collection or stop payments onvehicle licenses that are not being used due to the petrol crisis.

In order to fend of accusations of siding with Fatah, the protest initiators stressed that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' party was also responsible for the grim situation in Gaza. "For six years the politicians were busy dialoguing in Egyptian hotels. These talks didn't bare fruit and today we are telling them – enough is enough."

'Gazans scared of Hamas'

An official Palestinian source told Ynet that the planned strike will not succeed because Gazans are too afraid of Hamas' security apparatus. However, the source added that the very call for a strike should be seen as a sign of Hamas' failure to smoothly run the Strip.

According to the source, "Hamas will do anything to curtail any acts of protest, including arrests.

As for the prospects of resolving the energy crisis, the Palestinian source noted that Hamas has no interest in reaching an agreement with Egypt or the Palestinian Authority because it makes a large profit from smugglings.

"Hamas is not interested to see taxes from fuel sales reaching Ramallah," he noted.

Meanwhile, it seems that the Gazan authorities are starting to show signs of distress over the growing disapproval; The Hamas' police department stated on Monday evening that it had arrested 120 local residents over the past month, in suspicion that they spread rumors on the fuel and electricity crisis in the Strip.

The police stated that all detainees were released after they signed an affidavit, vowing not to spread rumors again.


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