RAMALLAH, West Bank – Palestinian police and the Fatah Youth Movement suppressed violently on Wednesday a protest in Ramallah which called for the lifting of sanctions imposed in Gaza by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).
Shortly before 1830 GMT, the time the protest was meant to start, the police warned the demonstrators who were arriving at Al-Manara Square to move away and avoid police charges, before launching tear gas and sound grenades.
Hundreds of Palestinians from the West Bank, Jerusalem and Israeli Arabs tried to sing songs in support of the Gaza Strip, although they were later suppressed by the security forces who charged all those who tried to congregate.
In the face of the call for this protest, the PNA issued an order on Tuesday to prohibit demonstrations or public meetings during the celebration that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, although the protesters ignored it.
“You have young people attacking and arresting people. This is the president’s dictatorship. It’s worse than the Hamas (the Islamist movement). What’s the difference? We’re stuck. This is not why we pay the price of the Israeli occupation,” Wafa Abdulrahman, a Gaza native and resident of Ramallah, told EFE.
Other members of the Fatah seized mobile phones and cameras from many of those that were recording and documenting the arrests and attacks, including EFE, which was forced to erase their audiovisual material.
Several participants told EFE that this was the first time that so many Fatah youth, identified with a cap bearing the party’s logo, had acted “in this way” accompanied by the passivity of the Palestinian police.