The strike on Tuesday is meant to protest Israeli action and unite three groups of Palestinians who live under separate governments and, increasingly, have distinct lives.
Author: Adam Rasgon
Published: 2021-05-17 04:41 pm
Palestinian activists are calling for a general strike in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel.
An Israeli missile, which did not explode, on Monday in the center of Gaza City.Credit...Samar Abu Elouf for The New York Times

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Israel live under different governments and have increasingly developed separate identities. But on Tuesday, Palestinian activists hope to unite people across the three territories in a general strike to protest Israel’s air campaign in Gaza and other measures targeting Palestinians.

The initiative also has the backing of both Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza, and Fatah, the ruling party of the Palestinian Authority that exercises limited self-autonomy in parts of the West Bank.

“We want to send a clear message that we stand together in saying enough to the aggression on Gaza,” said Essam Bakr, one of the organizers. “But we are also saying enough to the attacks on the Aqsa Mosque, enough to the occupation and settlement building and enough to the unjust treatment of Palestinians.”

Over the past week, militant groups in Gaza have fired thousands of rockets toward Israel, killing at least 10 Israeli residents, while Israel has pounded Gaza with airstrikes, which have claimed the lives of more than 200 Palestinians, including dozens of children, even though the army has said it means only to target Hamas military sites and personnel.

On Monday, social media was flooded with calls on Palestinians to participate in the strike and a billboard encouraging Palestinian citizens of Israel to take part was seen in Nazareth, the largest Arab-majority town in Israel.

In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority declared that a large number of its employees would participate in the strike.

Mr. Bakr said marches would take place in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel at 2 p.m. local time. The protesters in the West Bank were planning to head to dozens of areas near where there are Israeli security forces, he said, and clashes were expected.

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