By Nour Abu Aisha
GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) - The Gaza Strip’s commercial sector on Tuesday staged a general strike to protest deteriorating economic and humanitarian conditions in the blockade coastal enclave.
The one-day strike saw companies, banks and markets across Gaza close their doors to customers.
The strike action was organized by Palestinian political groups -- including resistance factions Hamas and Islamic Jihad -- in hopes of bringing attention to Gaza’s worsening economic conditions and standard of living.
Traders taking part in the strike hung banners on the doors of their shops and offices that read, "Commercial strike against the Gaza blockade."
The Ramallah-based Palestinian Monetary Authority also appeared to take part in the strike, instructing its financial institutions in Gaza to close their doors Tuesday.
Tuesday’s strike also included a seven-minute suspension of traffic across the strip.
Drivers taking part in the strike hung signs on the windows of their vehicles, reading, "Support the steadfastness of our drivers."
Jamal Jarad, head of Gaza’s General Union of Public Transport Workers, told Anadolu Agency: “We are waging this strike today to protest Gaza’s rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation.”
"Our drivers want to tell the world how intolerable the situation in Gaza has become," he added.
Jarad went on to describe the besieged coastal territory as "one big open-air prison," saying: "Gaza is under siege; out territorial waters are under siege; and all our border crossings remain closed."
The Gaza Strip continues to groan under a decade-long Israeli/Egyptian blockade that has effectively destroyed the territory’s economy and deprived its more than two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.