This week on Tuesday a third protest against the Palestinian Authority (PA) occurred in the West Bank city of Ramallah, after two earlier protests over the weekend. Unusual to have occurred for a third time in a week, previous running demonstrations this year in Palestine have been in support of the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike.
According to media reports, several hundred people took part in Tuesday’s protest against the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) recent policies. Marching from central Ramallah towards the Presidential Compound on the outskirts of the city, some of the crowd chanted for the PA to be dismantled before police violently broke up the gathering.The protests came soon after an announcement that the PA would be unable to pay this month’s salaries for civil servants due to funding issues as well as after President Mahmoud Abbas announced his plan to meet Israeli Vice PM Shaul Mofaz, in an attempt to resume stalled peace talks.
With economic woes in Palestine from the global recession causing frustration to many, the now cancelled plans to try and resume peace talks also angered many Palestinians, who feel such attempts are a waste of time in light of more pressing needs, some commentators have suggested Palestine is ready for change. Echoing sentiments from this last year’s Arab revolutions, a statement released by the organisers of Tuesday’s protests, The Palestinian for Dignity Youth Group, said “…With this march we emphasize that the people are the source of authority, and that we reject the use of violence against the Palestinian people by any and all hands…”, a feeling that has not been strongly heard before in Palestine.
However with these protests broken up relatively peacefully (resulting in no deaths) and the PA still relatively popular in the West Bank, if the Arab spring is coming to Palestine, it will not be for some time yet.
J Robinson – Twitter: @jprobinsons