March 24, 2019

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Palestinians know Abbas is to blame for Gaza. When will the West wake up?

The Palestinian Coalition for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights sounds like one of the scores of NGOs set up in the territories just to attract European cash and bash Israel.

It has a number of members, including the Ramallah Center fo Human Rights Studies, the Stars of Hope Foundation, the Kader Foundation for Community Development, Al Haq Foundation and a number of trade unions.

Its most recent press releases all are missing the word  “Israel.” Amazingly, they are blaming the PA for what every Palestinian (and few Westerners) know – that the government of Mahmoud Abbas has been systematically oppressing Gazans for well over a year now for political ends.

Last week it issued a statement saying “the Palestinian Authority has taken punitive measures against its employees in the Gaza Strip, which accounted for a 30% to 60% reduction of their salaries since April 2017, in the context of pressure on Hamas to resolve the administrative situation of the sector and enable the government to exercise its functions, These measures have affected all aspects of life in the sector, especially after imposing more penalties and wage cuts, and the transfer of a large number of employees to forced retirement, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis to the detriment of the citizens’ decent living. “

Moreover, the group started a social media campaign “#ارفعوا_العقوبات” – Lift the Sanctions – directed not at Israel but at the Palestinian Authority. Graphics have been published for a rally that was planned for yesterday in Ramallah to protest the PA’s treatment of Gaza. (I have not seen any news articles about such a rally, which was to be held at Manara Square. If it did occur the PA-run media would not have covered it.)

It is difficult to know if this has an impact on the PA, but one thing is for sure: despite over a year of the PA restricting electricity, fuel, medicines, exit permits and more from Gazans, Western media and NGOs will continue to only blame Israel.

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