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Gaza protests PA's halt of payments to poorest families

Through the sit-in Palestinians hope to deliver a message to President Mahmoud Abbas that there have been "enough delays and procrastination for poor families, for our suffering has exceeded the mountains."

Palestinians will hold a sit-in outside the headquarters of the UNDP in Gaza City to demand payments to resume for families in need in the besieged enclave after they ceased more than a year ago.

The High Commission for Claiming the Rights of the Poor and Beneficiaries of Social Affairs in the Gaza Strip will set up a tent for the sit-in in an effort to regain the rights of the 80,000 families who have seen their welfare allowances stopped. The payments were made as part of a partnership between the Palestinian Authority and the European Union.

Media spokesman for the committee, Subhi Al-Maghrabi, said through the sit-in Palestinians hope to deliver a message to President Mahmoud Abbas that there have been "enough delays and procrastination for poor families, for our suffering has exceeded the mountains."

"The disbursement of social welfare allowances has been suspended for more than 15 months. Why is there a policy of collective punishment against poor families?" he asked.

The committee called on the UN to work to mobilise the EU and PA to disburse the allocations before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins in April.

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