Palestinians hold Gaza strike to protest Israeli blockade

February 23rd, 2008 - 11:00 pm ICT by admin  

Gaza City, Feb 23 (DPA) Shops and stores in Gaza City closed their doors Saturday for several hours as part of a general strike to protest against the Israeli siege on the impoverished Gaza Strip. “We shut down our stores to express our rejection of the Israeli blockade imposed in Gaza since more than six months,” an owner of a shoe shop said.

Israel sealed off Gaza Strip in June when Hamas ousted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement and took over the coastal strip by force.

Lawmaker Jamal al-Khoudari, director of the newly formed independent anti-siege committee, said Gaza dealers and merchants had lost about $150 million as their imported goods remained stuck at Israeli seaports. Every day the commercial sector was losing $1 million, according to al-Khoudari.

Placing a monument to victims of the siege in a public square in the west of Gaza City, al-Khoudari said the siege had killed 99 people so far.

The figure would rise, as thousands of patients were unable to travel for treatment and did not have the medication they needed.

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