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General strike observed across West Bank, several countries in solidarity with Gaza

A picture taken from the city of Rafah shows smoke billowing above buildings during Israeli bombardment of the city of Khan Yunis, in southern Gaza Strip, on December 7, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

Shop owners have closed their businesses across the occupied West Bank and several West Asian countries to heed a call for a general strike in support of the Gaza Strip, which has been under an unrelenting Israeli onslaught for more than two months.

The National and Islamic Forces, which is an umbrella coalition for major factions in Palestine, had called for the one-day strike in a statement on Saturday.

Acknowledging the call, shops, schools, and government offices were shut across the occupied West Bank, including in East al-Quds, on Monday.

Essam Abu Baker, who coordinates Palestinian factions in the West Bank city of Ramallah, said the protest was part of a global effort to put pressure on Israel to stop its aggression against Gaza.

"The strike today is not only in solidarity with Gaza, but also against the USA, which used its veto in the Security Council against a truce," he said, referring to the US rejection of a Gaza ceasefire resolution on Friday.

In Lebanon, public institutions, banks, schools, and universities closed after the government decided on a nationwide strike in support of Gaza and border areas in the country's south, which have come under sporadic Israeli attacks.

Shops and restaurants closed in the Jordanian capital Amman as well as in Zarqa to the country's northeast and in Irbid in the north.

Jordanian businesses displayed banners and stickers on closed shop fronts with such slogans as "I strike for Gaza," and "Ceasefire in Gaza and an end of this genocide."

"This is the least we can do for their bloodshed day and night. We must strike to end this injustice for people in Gaza," some signs read.

The work stoppage was also observed in Istanbul's western Esenyurt District, where many businesses are owned by residents from the Palestinian territories, Syria, Yemen, and Iran.

Footage on Turkish social media showed deserted streets with Palestinian flags billowing.

The Israeli regime launched its devastating strikes on Gaza on October 7 following a surprise operation by the territory's resistance groups, dubbed Operation al-Aqsa Storm.

More than 18,200 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed since then while upwards of 49,600 others have been wounded. Thousands more are also missing and presumed dead under the rubble.

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