ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 139

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General strike declared throughout the West Bank to protest hospital blast

Gianluca Pacchiani is the Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

A picture shows an empty road during a general strike in Ramallah in the West Bank, on October 18, 2023 (Jaafar ASHTIYEH / AFP)
A picture shows an empty road during a general strike in Ramallah in the West Bank, on October 18, 2023 (Jaafar ASHTIYEH / AFP)

A general strike has been announced throughout the West Bank to protest Israel’s offensive against Hamas, following an explosion at a Gaza hospital Tuesday night in which hundreds were killed according to Hamas health authorities.

Hamas has blamed the Gaza hospital blast on an Israeli airstrike, but the IDF has provided evidence showing that the explosion was caused by a misfired Islamic Jihad rocket. It also claims the death toll was inflated by Hamas.

The general strike was initiated by “national and Islamist forces” in the northern West Bank, but has been adopted across the rest of the territory, according to Palestinian Authority mouthpiece Wafa.

The northern West Bank cities of Jenin, Nablus and Tulkarem are Hamas and Islamic Jihad strongholds, where the PA has progressively lost control in recent years.

The strike shutters shops, banks and universities.

On Tuesday evening, hundreds of protesters took to the streets throughout the West Bank, clashing with PA security forces and calling for the ouster of PA President Mahmoud Abbas due to his perceived inaction in the face of ostensible Israeli attacks against Palestinians.

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