'Less than a week after Saudi authorities arrested more than 60 people, including Palestinian expatriates and Saudi nationals, on charges of supporting the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement, they have now blocked money transfers between the kingdom and the Gaza Strip.
The new step taken by the Riyadh regime against Palestinians involves official and non-official money transfers as the procedure has witnessed a marked decline over the past week and during the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, Arabic-language al-Khaleej Online news website reported.
The report described residents of the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip as the main victims of the move. Most of the bank transfers that used to be carried out normally in the past, were frozen just a few days before the start of the holiday.
Remittance transactions are taking much longer time than usual – something that used to be done in a matter of few hours.
Many Palestinians have complained of the move, and termed it as “unprecedented.” They argue that the process of transferring money between Saudi Arabia and the Gaza Strip has become extraordinarily difficult.
Abu Fuad, a resident of the Gaza Strip who refused to give his last name for fear that his family could be persecuted in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah, said he has experienced difficulty receiving money from his family.
“It is three days since the remittance has been made, but I have not received anything. Financial transfers used to be done in a few hours and without any obstacles in the past. But since the week before the Eid, the procedures have become complex and most of the transfers are frozen without any obvious reason,” he said.
Abu Fuad considered the measure as a “new crackdown on the Palestinian community living in Saudi Arabia,” stressing that it would aggravate their sufferings as students rely heavily on money transferred from their families living outside the kingdom.'
Read more: Saudi Arabia tightens grip on Palestinians, hampers remittances to Gaza: Report
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