Protests Against Palestinian Authority Held in Gaza

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Thousands of protesters gathered in the Gaza Strip on Sunday to call for Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to resign after his attempts to pressure Hamas with financial cuts in the impoverished enclave.

The pro-Hamas crowd gathered at al-Sarya square yelled for the long-serving leader to “leave” and called on the PA to pay the full salaries of public sector employees in Gaza.

They also demonstrated against Israel’s more than a decade-long blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The demonstration was called for by the Gaza-based Popular Movement for National Salvation, which comprises Palestinian factions including Hamas, the group that governs the Gaza Strip, and other Abbas opponents in the enclave.

Abbas, 83, has over the course of recent months reduced salaries in Gaza as part of a wider attempt to exert pressure on Hamas and push through reconciliation agreements aimed at ending internal Palestinian division.

His term was meant to expire in 2009, but he has remained in office in the absence of elections.

All attempts to end the ongoing feud between his Fatah party and Hamas have so far failed.

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