2021-05-19 00:00:00

Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories went on strike in a rare show of unity Tuesday a

fter Israeli missiles toppled a building in Gaza and rebels in Hamas-ruled Gaza fired hundreds of rockets, killing two civilians. The protests and continued violence occurred as efforts to reach an agreement on a cease-fire seemed to be gaining momentum.

According to US officials, the Biden administration is secretly urging Israel to reduce its bombardment of Gaza. After a week of sectarian violence in Israel and demonstrations around the occupied West Bank, the general strike was a warning that the war could widen again. Despite the fact that the strike was mostly peaceful, with shops in Jerusalem's normally busy Old City markets shuttered, violence erupted in West Bank towns.

The strike was called to protest the war and Israeli reforms, which many activists and human rights organisations believe are part of a larger system of apartheid that denies Palestinians the same rights as Jews. Israel denies this, claiming that all of its people have equal rights. It holds Hamas, the Islamic militant group that runs Gaza, responsible for the conflict and accuses it of stirring violence.

The strike was called by leaders of the Palestinian group in Israel, and it was supported by the internationally backed Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, which shut down ministries and schools. The strike seemed to be observed by the majority of companies.

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