Palestinian Authority violently suppresses West Bank protests

Palestinians take part in a protest in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on 10 June. One protester is holding a banner that reads ”Razan al-Najjar is trusting you with her family. Lift the sanctions on Gaza.” 

Eyad Jadallah APA images

Palestinian Authority forces violently suppressed demonstrators in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday evening.

The protesters were demanding an end to PA sanctions that are compounding the suffering of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Earlier in the day, the PA decided to stop granting permits for protests during the upcoming Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan, to “make it easier for citizens to conduct their normal lives.”

Hours later, PA forces fired tear gas and sound grenades, attacked protesters and arrested journalists and activists before the holiday had even begun.

Palestinian Authority forces are funded by and trained under the supervision of the United States and the European Union.

EU trainers have included former members of British forces involved in human rights abuses in Northern Ireland.

European and American support for the PA is predicated on its willingness to continue “security coordination” with Israel, which means in practice helping to suppress any form of resistance to occupation.

Videos circulated on social media showing riot police violently suppressing demonstrations:

“PA security forces haven’t fired a single tear gas canister or bullets at Israeli forces raiding Palestinian neighborhoods,” Quds News Network stated. “Today they used those means against peaceful Palestinian protesters in Ramallah.”

PA forces in civilian clothing attacked and arrested protesters:

Among those arrested was Yahya Rabie, head of the student union at Birzeit University:

PA forces beat and detained Sameh Abu Awad, president of the laborers union at Birzeit University, and arrested Tariq al-Sadiq, a member of the union.

Attacks on journalists

In this video, a plainclothes officer is seen attempting to seize a journalist’s phone:

Palestinian journalist Jihan Awad was among other reporters who were attacked and had their phones confiscated during the crackdown on protesters:

Quds News Network reported that security officials also arrested two journalists, American and Turkish.

The Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate condemned “the assault of the security services on journalists” and called for the aggressors to be held accountable.

Gaza sanctions

Hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank took to the streets multiple times this week calling on the PA to lift sanctions it imposed on the Gaza Strip last year.

Palestinians used the hashtag “lift the sanctions” in Arabic on Twitter to express solidarity with Gaza.

Palestinian civil society groups called on the PA to lift its ban on demonstrations, stating that it is “illegal, unconstitutional and a violation of citizens’ rights to gather peacefully and express their opinions.”

They added that PA security forces must ensure the safety of those participating in the protests.

Lethal sanctions

In April 2017, the PA drastically cut the salaries of public employees in Gaza, compounding the severe hardships caused by Israel’s decade-long siege.

Salaries are still not being paid.

Last year, the PA asked Israel to cut Gaza’s electricity supply, causing a severe deterioration in the already dire humanitarian situation.

The PA also delayed the approval of medical transfers to the West Bank, which resulted in deaths of Gaza patients, including a child.

PA leader Mahmoud Abbas imposed the sanctions as part of his efforts to oust Hamas, the rival of his own Fatah faction.

In 2006 Hamas defeated Fatah in legislative elections.

However, Abbas’ party, backed by Israel, the US, the EU and some Arab states, did not allow Hamas to govern the Palestinian Authority.

Instead, Fatah-aligned militias in Gaza, working with the United States, tried to remove Hamas from power by force.

But in June 2007, Hamas moved against them preemptively, expelling Fatah forces from Gaza.

The attempted putsch against Hamas after it won the elections resulted in the current division, where Abbas’ Western-backed PA kept control in the West Bank, while the internationally isolated Hamas has ruled the interior of the besieged Gaza Strip.

Ali Abunimah contributed research.

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Comments

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There is a saying in German 'Wenn zwei sich streiten freut sich der Dritte'; in English 'When two people quarrel the third recoices (in this case Israel). The PA should be thoroughly ashamed of itself for its collaborationist policies.

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Hey, didn't his contract with Murder Inc end in 2009? Is it not about time that the people of Palestine free themselves from foreign occupation?

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The Palestinian Authority is nothing more than the government of a miserable and despicable bantustan in apartheid South Africa. A puppet regime having no sovereignty and controlling almost thing except a repressive police force that's used against West Bank Palestinians. A collaborationist state. It needs to be dissolved. The Oslo accords are totally meaningless and people have to admit it. Zionist Israel has to be dissolved the same way apartheid South Africa was and Palestinian refugees must be allowed back into their homeland. Only a one-state solution is a fair solution to the Palestinian problem.

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But a mask is not a concealment. By donning the iconic garb of torturers, of anonymous agents of fear, the PA forces tell the world precisely who they are and what their role is to be. The mask has become the true face of the regime, subcontractor to the Israelis. When the day of freedom arrives, they will decide the time has come to return to the people. They will stand in their own pool of darkness and tear at the mask. But the mask will not come off. Why? Because there's no longer anything underneath.

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They say power corrupts, absolute power, corrupts absolutely. Abbas's sell-by-date long gone, it's time for a new order, who will not be subservient to Israel. History will not be kind to the PA.

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The late Israel Shahak in an interview with Voice of Palestine, Canada, on Nov. 16, 1993, two months after the Oslo accord was signed, stated: "the deal ... doesn't give the Palestinians anything, it merely puts the PLO in the position of the 'Village League'" . http://www.voiceofpalestine.ca... (46:50 into the show)
This is how the PLO leadership, the US and Israel turned the "Palestine Liberation Organization" into "Palestine Liquidation Organization".

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all for US and EU money, to maintain the PA position come hell or high water for the entire Palestinian population outside of the elites

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I've wondered for years why Abbas remains in power. The Palestinians must rid themselves of this collaborator, but when and if elections are held again, the IDf, being terrorists, will prevent voters from accessing polls, or being registered, and will use teargas and bullets to stop people from voting. The only way Abbas can be ousted is for the UN to conduct and oversee voting, including complete control over the counting of votes. Fat chance currently considering the fear Israel and the US can still spread. Someday both will be stopped. Empires fall eventually.

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