Pales­tinian po­lice break up West Bank rally over Gaza

The Western Star - - WORLD -

RAMALLAH, Pales­tinian Ter­ri­tory — Pales­tinian po­lice have bro­ken up a rare public protest in the West Bank against the Pales­tinian Author­ity’s poli­cies in Gaza. Dozens of Pales­tinian pro­test­ers gath­ered in Ramallah on Wed­nes­day calling on Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ab­bas to end his “pun­ish­ment’’ of Ha­mas-ruled Gaza. Pales­tinian po­lice dis­persed the crowd with elec­tric shock­ers and ba­tons. Un­der­cover of­fi­cers dragged oth­ers away, ar­rest­ing about 10 peo­ple.

Ab­bas has cracked down on dis­sent, and such protests are rare.

Ha­mas drove forces loyal to Ab­bas out of Gaza in 2007. In re­cent months, Ab­bas has tried to pres­sure the group to hand back power in Gaza through cut­ting pay­ments for elec­tric­ity and other eco­nomic mea­sures. Ab­bas’ govern­ment blames Gaza’s woes on the crip­pling block­ade im­posed by Is­rael and Egypt when the Is­lamic mil­i­tant group seized power.

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