Palestinians take part in a protest calling on President Mahmoud Abbas to lift the sanctions on Gaza Strip, in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, June 23, 2018. .
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)
The Palestinian Authority’s sanctions against the Gaza Strip are beginning to take their toll. The sanctions include, among other things, cutting payments to hundreds of families of Palestinian “martyrs” who were killed by the IDF.
As part of the sanctions, which are seen in the context of the PA’s ongoing dispute with Hamas, payments to thousands of civil servants and needy families have also been halted.
On Sunday, the father of a Palestinian man who was killed by the IDF in 2012 offered his house for sale.
The father, Suheil Ibrahim al-Kafarneh, is from the town of Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip. He published a post on Facebook in which he said: “Because of the cutting of the stipend for my son, martyr Tareq Suheil Ibrahim al-Kafarneh, and due to the accumulation of debts, I announce the sale of my house.”
The son, Tareq, was 22 years old when he was reportedly killed by IDF gunfire near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
Two other Palestinians were killed in the incident: Akram Sami al_Za’aneen and Ehab Sami al-Za’aneen.
After he was wounded, al-Kafarneh managed to phone a local hospital to ask for help. He died before medics arrived at the scene, Palestinian sources said.
The father told the Palestinian news agency Safa that he was no longer able to pay the bank the monthly installment of $340 for the loan he took to purchase the house. He said the monthly stipend he once receive from the PA was suspended three months ago.
The loan guarantors, the father said, have launched legal proceedings against him in court after the bank deducted the unpaid installments from their bank accounts.
Kafarneh appealed to PA President Mahmoud Abbas to resume the financial aid so as to allow his family to live in dignity. He also appealed to Abbas to restore payments to hundreds of families of “martyrs” and prisoners.
“I have diabetes and high blood pressure, and support a family of 12,” the father said. He added that he has approached a local foundation that cares for the families of Palestinians killed by the IDF, and prisoners held in Israeli prisons, but did not hear back from them.
Because of his debts, al-Kafarneh said, he was recently forced to ask one of his sons to drop out of university. “My message to President Abbas: Lift the sanctions imposed on the families of the martyrs, wounded and prisoners. The salary of my son is a right and no one is entitled to take it away.”
Sources in the Gaza Strip said that in the past two months the PA has cut payments to some 3,000 families and individuals in the Gaza Strip.
Several former Palestinian prisoners who were held by Israel have gone on hunger strike in the Gaza Strip in the past three weeks to protest the PA’s decision to suspend their salaries.
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