• Rafah

  • Monday, March 4, 2024 at 5:00 AM
    Last Update : Wednesday, March 6, 2024 at 6:37 AM

Civilian Groups Take Over Security and Market Control in Rafah

(AWP) - As the Israeli war on Gaza approaches its 150th day, Palestinians in the southern city of Rafah say that Israeli raids targeting the police in Gaza have led to the emergence of ‘popular committees’ consisting of armed members to bolster security and end market manipulation and price hikes.

A committee member who did not want to disclose his name said, “The aim of forming this force is first to protect the home front and support our great people in combating price hikes of goods. Secondly, to combat the corrupt who create internal and family problems to destabilise national unity. And thirdly, to fight the thieves, drug dealers, collaborators, and spies who eavesdrop on us and our free people.”

Rasmy Abul-Enein, a resident of Rafah, welcomed the formation of these committees, saying, “We were glad to hear about the formation of popular protection committees to regulate the markets, and combat smuggling, high prices, theft and the like. The step was belated but better late than never.”

Abul-Enein added, “It is our duty to support these committees in suppressing this monopoly, these thefts and other behaviours that do not befit our people.”
Meanwhile, Ashraf Jum’a, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), said that police have been targeted “in this crazy Zionist war in Gaza” leading to the formation of popular committees.

He explained, “Consequently, chaos ran rampant, giving rise to greedy merchants and monopolists. There have been various kinds of corruption and other things which violate the customs and traditions of our Palestinian society.”

“It was necessary to form these committees, for which we called since the beginning of the war, and as I mentioned, they are long overdue.”
International organizations state that the majority of Gaza’s population, estimated at 2.3 million Palestinians, has been displaced amid harsh conditions since the Israeli war on the Strip broke out on October 7.