Palestinians ban protests after hundreds oppose Gaza measures

Palestinians ban protests after hundreds oppose Gaza measures

The Palestinian government has temporarily banned public protests, it announced Wednesday, ahead of a planned demonstration in the occupied West Bank opposing punitive measures against Hamas-run Gaza.

Late Sunday hundreds took to the streets of Ramallah, the West Bank city that houses the Palestinian government, calling for president Mahmud Abbas to end measures against Gaza that critics say harm the two million residents.

Despite the ban, organisers vowed to go ahead with fresh anti-government protests on Wednesday night.

"The (Israeli) occupation is the main culprit responsible for the blockade on Gaza, but President Abbas is making things worse by also imposing collective punishment on families there," campaign activist Fadi Quran said, vowing to take to the streets.

Gaza, which is only reachable from the West Bank via Israeli territory, is run by Islamists Hamas, who seized it from the Abbas-led Palestinian Authority in a 2007 near civil war.

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