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Palestinian farmers, fishermen demand unity, end to Israeli siege

Dec. 3, 2018 3:42 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 5, 2018 11:53 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of Palestinian farmers and fishermen protested, on Monday, at the al-Saraya Square in Gaza City in the besieged Gaza Strip, demanding an end to the siege and the Palestinian division.

The protest march set off from the al-Saraya Square towards the Unknown Soldier's Square in Gaza City.

Protesters called slogans demanding Palestinian unity and held signs condemning the division and the Israeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip.

Head of the Palestinian Fishermen Union in Gaza, Zakariya Bakr, said that fishermen came to raise their voices against injustice and against the siege.

He added that fishermen call upon the international community to end the siege on Gaza, but that before ending the siege, the Palestinian division should come to an end.

Coordinator of the Agricultural and Fishermen Committees, Saad Ziyadeh, said that the protest seeks to demand the international community to end the state of silence towards Palestinian rights and to hold Israel responsible for the crimes it commits against the Gaza Strip.

He added that the second aim of the protest addressed decision-makers in the West Bank and Gaza, demanding them to end the state of division.

Ziyadeh pointed out the humanitarian consequences of the Israeli siege and Palestinian division, which include the increased cases of extreme poverty, unemployment, food insecurity and hunger.
Fatah, the leading party of the Palestinian Authority (PA), and Hamas have been embroiled in conflict since Hamas' election victory in legislative elections in 2006, sparking a violent conflict between the two movements, with Hamas consolidating its control over the territory a year later.
After 2007, Hamas started to issue its own legislation for the Gaza Strip and ruled through the caretaker government. A National Consensus Government formed in June 2014, tasked with preparing for the legislative and presidential elections that never materialized, as both Fatah and Hamas blamed each other for numerous political failures.
Gaza has been suffering from a nearly 12-year Israeli-imposed a land, sea and air siege.
As part of Israel's blockade of the coastal enclave since 2007, the Israeli army, citing security concerns, requires Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip to work within a limited "designated fishing zone," the exact limits of which are decided by the Israeli authorities and have historically fluctuated.
Many attempts have been made throughout the years to draw the public's attention to and break the on-going siege of the Gaza Strip whether via ships attempting to sail into Gaza or ships attempting to sail from Gaza.

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