Fatah declares strike in Gaza, but observation is limited

September 9, 2007 11:55

Activists in the vanquished Fatah movement declared a general strike across the Gaza Strip on Sunday, hoping to challenge the Islamic Hamas group's control of the area. But the strike was only partially observed, reflecting Hamas's grip on power. The Fatah-dominated Palestine Liberation Organization called the one-day strike to protest against Hamas rule and its heavy-handed clampdown on protesters on Friday. Hamas seized control of Gaza in June after five days of fighting against Fatah forces, and Sunday's strike was seen as an important test of Fatah's ability to regroup. The strike led many schools in Gaza to cancel classes, and some shops remained shut. But public transportation operated on schedule, marketplaces were bustling and many merchants opened their stores. Hamas officials said the strike was illegal and called it a failure.

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