Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip took to the streets to call for national unity, with Palestinian youth turning to social media to call for an end to the divisions.
A group of 30 social media activists launched the “End the Division” campaign to mark the ninth anniversary of the Palestinian political division and call for national unity.
The campaign was organized and carried out by Gaza’s Social Media Café on Tuesday, in cooperation with the National Campaign to End the Division and Achieve Reconciliation. It also includes a number of Palestinian women’s organizations led by the General Union of Palestinian Women, reported MEMO.
— Social Media Cafe (@PAL_SMCafe) June 16, 2016
Nisreen Al-Shawa, coordinator at Social Media Café said, “We want the Palestinian leadership in Gaza and the West Bank to set aside their differences and come together with honest political intentions in order to solidify the Palestinian front in the face of the Israeli occupation”.
Formed five years ago in Gaza city, the forum has been organizing media campaigns that advocate the Palestinian cause and the rights of the Palestinians, Al-Shawa told MEMO.
She added that there was widespread interaction with their hashtag #انهوا_الانقسام (end the division), reflecting the distress and frustration of Palestinians after nine years of political division between the Hamas and Fatah factions.
— Mohammed Temraz (@MohammdTemraz) June 14, 2016
Al-Shawa said that their aim was not to cast blame on any of the factions. By focusing on the impact of the siege and the occupation and calling for, the campaigners want to leave the past behind them and move forward with a united leadership.
She told MEMO that they wanted the Palestinian leadership both in the West Bank and in Gaza to work together to find solutions to “the high levels of unemployment which have reached 63 per cent in Gaza, as well as the continuing power crisis and prevailing poverty”.
Al-Shawa added, “We want the Palestinian leadership to hold long-overdue elections and then form a functioning national unity government and a legislative council.”
— khaled almohtadi (@KAlmohtadi) June 14, 2016
Through training courses and cooperation with local NGOs in Gaza, youth at the Social Media Café tackle issues such as the Israeli siege, Israel’s violations of journalists’ rights and violence.