Palestinian protestors turned their anger against the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, stoning the PA police headquarters in the early hours of Sunday morning, following an Israeli incursion into the center of the city.
Israeli occupation forces also invaded Ramallah’s central Manara Square area, which Palestinian youths defended with stones and fire bombs, as this video from the website raya.ps shows:
The video also shows Israeli occupation forces apparently guarding the main Palestinian Authority police headquarters in Ramallah as PA personnel stare at them from second-floor windows.
The Israeli incursion was the apparent spark for the protest by dozens of Palestinian youths seen in a second video, at the top of this post, who stoned the same police station following the withdrawal of the Israeli occupation forces.
Israeli army, PA join forces against Palestinians
According to eyewitnesses PA police began firing warning shots toward the Palestinian youths. In the video at the top of the post, the sound of automatic weapons fire can be heard.
Mondoweiss reporter Allison Deger was on the scene and tweeted that protestors were chanting slogans against the Palestinian Authority.
A short time later, she tweeted “Omg!! #Israeli army is back in #Ramallah it’s both the army and the PA attacking Palestinians from about 3 blocks distance between.”
At least one person was injured when a bullet grazed his head, Deger reported.
Deger posted a number of photos she took of damaged PA police cars on her Twitter account.
Deger also saw armed PA police entering Ramallah hospital and arresting a citizen.
Eyewitnesses told Wattan TV that PA police fired heavy volleys of live bullets into the air.
One eyewitness, who asked not be named, presumably due to the danger of arrest from Israeli occupation forces or the PA, told Wattan TV that the confrontation developed between the protestors and the PA police after the Israeli forces withdrew from Manara Square.
Some of the youths began throwing stones at the police station. The police began firing into the air and youths damaged five police cars parked in front of the station.
Growing anger at collaboration
The incident in Ramallah comes amid growing Palestinian anger at PA collaboration with the violent Israeli crackdown in the West Bank which Israel has launched under the pretext of searching for three Israeli youths who went missing in the West Bank on 12 June. Israel says the youths, two of them minors, were kidnapped but has offered no evidence to support its assertions that Hamas was behind their abduction. No group has claimed responsibility.
Since the assault began, Israeli forces have killed five Palestinians in the West Bank, arrested 400, including politicians and activists, and ransacked hundreds of private homes, schools, universities and social institutions.
Human rights groups say the Israeli assault amounts to collective punishment.
PA de facto leader Mahmoud Abbas has expressed sympathy for the missing settlers but many Palestinians have noted that similar empathy for the suffering of Palestinians – especially hunger striking prisoners – has been remarkably absent.
On Friday, PA police attacked and beat mothers and wives of hunger striking Palestinian prisoners.
In Hebron today, as this Wattan TV video report shows, Palestinians held a rally against PA repression and called on Abbas to end “security coordination” with the occupation:
Rally participant Alaa al-Amla told Wattan TV that the PA was acting more to reassure Israel than the Palestinian people. “The government should be standing with us, not against us,” she said.
Diaa Ighreib urged Abbas to “withdraw his insulting and shameful statements which truly reflect an attitude of surrender and defeat.”
“I say to Abbas, if he does not change his decisions, the people will say to you, ‘go, go go,’” he added.
Reeling from popular anger at its support for the assault, the PA today announced that it would go to the UN Security Council in an attempt to stop the violent Israeli campaign.
But this is likely to be understood by most Palestinians as nothing more than empty talk and an attempt to divert attention away from PA “security coordination” with Israel.
On the ground, Palestinian Authority forces, financed and trained under the auspices of the US and EU, continue to work closely with the occupation army, a duty Abbas deems “sacred.”