THE occupied Palestinian territories observed a general strike yesterday, affecting all aspects of life.
It was called for by President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian government marking the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, the dispersion and uprooting of Palestinians from their homeland in 1948, and in mourning of the 60 Palestinians murdered by the Israeli army massacre in Gaza on Monday. Shops remained shuttered as public servants, students and many employed by the private sector stayed home in observation of the strike call.
The strike affected the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, which was the centre of attention on Monday when the United States opened its embassy in the city provoking the wide-scale protests in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem that led to the Israeli carnage. The Higher Follow-Up Committee for the Arab Community in Israel also called for a general strike yesterday in the Arab towns in protest against the Gaza massacre and in observing the Nakba anniversary.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Malki condemned the United States blocking of a statement by the United Nations Security Council on the situation in Gaza yesterday, stressing that this move will not deter the Palestinians from pursuing further action at the Security Council. He told Voice of Palestine radio that the Security Council was scheduled to hold a meeting to discuss Israel’s carnage in Gaza on Monday that left 60 Palestinians dead, including an 8-month old infant, and more than 2500 injured, as well as the legal implications of the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.
‘By blocking a Security Council statement that was supposed to condemn Israel and calls for forming an independent investigation committee, the United States has declared itself as protector of Israel as it proceeds with its crimes, which therefore makes it complicit in the Israeli crimes against our people in Gaza,’ said Malki.