The protests — dubbed “We Want to Live” — began last week, when hundreds of protesters gathered in refugee camps such as Jabaliya and Deir al-Balah, and in Gaza City and Khan Younis.
Men, women and children were among the demonstrators complaining about the dire economic situation and living conditions in Gaza, where youth unemployment runs at about 70%.
According to Amnesty, hundreds of protesters suffered ill-treatment during the Hamas clampdown, including one of its own research consultants, Hind Khoudary, who was detained and interrogated for three hours, Amnesty said, during which she was accused of being a spy and working as a foreign agent.
…Gaza’s living conditions have grown worse because of chronic fuel and electricity shortages, compounded by an ongoing 12-year Israeli blockade of the coastal enclave. Water treatment facilities have been forced to close and raw sewage has spilled onto Gaza’s beaches. Hospitals have struggled to treat patients, as residents of Gaza have had as little as four hours a day of power for much of the last few years.
In recent months, an increased supply of electricity, thanks in part to Qatar transferring tens of millions of dollars into Gaza, has improved living conditions. But it has done little to alleviate tensions.