The Gaza Strip's commercial sector yesterday staged a general strike to protest deteriorating economic and humanitarian conditions in the blockaded coastal enclave. The one-day strike saw companies, banks and markets across Gaza close their doors to customers.
The strike was organized by Palestinian political groups in hopes of bringing attention to Gaza's worsening economic conditions and standard of living. Traders taking part in the strike hung banners on the doors of their shops and offices that read: "Commercial strike against the Gaza blockade." Yesterday's strike also included a seven-minute suspension of traffic across the strip. Drivers taking part in the strike hung signs on the windows of their vehicles, reading: "Support the steadfastness of our drivers."
Jamal Jarad, head of Gaza's General Union of Public Transport Workers, described the besieged coastal territory as "one big open-air prison." He said: "Gaza is under siege; our territorial waters are under siege and all our border crossings remain closed." The Gaza Strip continues to groan under a decade-long Israeli-Egyptian blockade that has effectively destroyed the territory's economy and deprived its more than 2 million inhabitants of many basic commodities.