No one is more afraid and upset by the revolution in Egypt than the Quisling Palestinian Authority and the Fateh/PLO leaders. After all, as the Palestine papers show, they were in cahoots with Mubarak to enforce the blockade of Gaza. Mubarak was their closest ally and as a tribute to him they decided to set up their own little police statelet in Ramallah. Now all that is cast into doubt. The Egyptian masses aren’t happy to have a repressive regime that dances to the United States tune. Who knows what might come next? Having chosen the road of collaboration there is nothing that the PA will not do to demonstrate its loyalty to its Zionist and American sponsors. So it comes as no surprise that they are preventing demonstrations outside the Egyptian ‘Embassy’ and threatening organisers with torture if they don’t obey. And meanwhile the PA’s plain clothes security forces and policemen stage an out of uniform ‘demonstration’ outside the offices of Al Jazeera against the leaking of the 1,600 documents by Al Jazeera which shows that Abbas would have sold off his mother and children if it had gained him extra plaudits from Netanyahu. What is shocking is that in this country our own Palestine Solidarity Campaign has kept silent, saying nothing, referring web site visitors to the comments of others. It has nothing to say on the Palestinian Authority and its betrayals and agreeing to all Israel’s demands, still less on the heroic demonstrations of the Egyptian masses. The stupid and supine Socialist Action members and fellow travellers who control Britain’s PSC are incapable of seeing that the liberation of the Arab masses from their US client regimes is a precondition of Palestinian liberation. Tony Greenstein (Ramallah, January 30, 2011) – Human Rights Watch
Palestinian Authority Disrupts Egypt Solidarity Protest in Ramallah Palestinian Authority security forces shut down a demonstration on January 30, 2011, in front of the Egyptian embassy in Ramallah, after calling in one of the organizers for questioning multiple times on January 29 and ordering him to cancel the event notice that he had created on Facebook. Human Rights Watch monitored the demonstration and spoke with participants. At around 4 p.m., the first of roughly 40 to 50 Palestinian demonstrators began to gather in front of the embassy to show solidarity for ongoing protests in Egypt, but were met by 20 armed police who immediately tried to confiscate cameras and ordered a journalist to turn off her microphone and recorder. Security agents wearing masks drove up in a Palestinian Preventive Security service jeep – which was driving very fast, apparently to intimidate protesters – and were soon joined by officers in two other jeeps and three police cars, and a van of the kind the PA uses for arrests and prisoner transport. Demonstrators said they had expected a higher turnout, but that Palestinian security agencies had called in one of the organizers of the protest for questioning three times in the last 24 hours and told him to cancel the event because “there were orders that no event related to Tunisia or Egypt was allowed at this time.” Members of the Facebook page calling for the demonstration received Facebook messages late last night saying that it was canceled. Security forces pushed the demonstrators around 300 meters away from the Egyptian embassy. At that point, a man who identified himself as a police commander said the demonstrators were in a “security area” and would have to disperse. Several women demonstrators told the police that Palestinian law required the demonstrators to notify the authorities 48 hours in advance and that they had done so. Women also convinced three policemen to release a demonstrator they had seized and dragged away when he shouted, “Long live Egypt!” The police dispersed the protest after one hour. Human Rights Watch called on the Palestinian Authority to stop security forces’ arbitrary interference with peaceful demonstrations
Message from Ramallah Demonstrator
I received this message from a friend in Ramallah yesterday. For obvious reasons, he can’t be identified from the suppressed demo:
“We, a group of Independent, liberal leaning Palestinian youth, organized a demonstration near the Egyptian embassy using social media tools such as Facebook, to our surprise one of the organizers was upheld unlawfully and threatened by the Police, Intelligence service and Preventive force on separate basis that if the event takes place he will be tortured and made to pay a heavy price. According to their conversations, they claimed that the order came directly from President Abbas office. We are under constant surveillance and harassment since saturday.
After forcing one of the members to cancel an event on Facebook sending a message to thousands of `confirmed attendees’, we still went near the Egyptian embassy today at 4:00 pm. During the protest the police violently assaulted several peaceful protesters and threatened the use of brutal force if anyone raised any slogans.
These and other actions relating to the arrest of Journalists, activists and not as the PA claims only from the Islamist ranks, but also includes activists in Liberal and other leftist youth groups. Palestinians who used to express their opinions freely despite measures of occupation are now under the tutelage of two occupations suffocating our political, economic and social rights.”
January 25, 2011, 11:07 am
By ROBERT MACKEY A video report on protests against Al Jazeera in Ramallah on Monday. An angry mob that attempted to storm the office of Al Jazeera in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday, following the publication of leaked Palestinian documents by the Arab news network, included Palestinian police officers in civilian clothes, according to a local journalist. In a report on the incident — which was captured on video by members of Al Jazeera’s staff and discussed on The Lede on Monday — Ruth Sherlock, a Christian Science Monitor correspondent, wrote that an unnamed “senior Palestinian journalist” at the scene pointed to the crowd pounding on the doors of the Al Jazeera office and said, “Many of the men here are from the preventative security forces. I recognize their faces.” Ms. Sherlock added that ”the apparent presence of Palestinian Liberation Organization officials and secret police in the crowd” “at a rally that preceded the attack on the bureau “had some observers questioning the authenticity of the demonstrations and whether they truly reflected public sentiment. More video of the rally and the incident at the Al Jazeera office (above) was shot by a Danish journalist and blogger, Mikkel Bahl. In a post on his Web site Korrespondenterne.dk, Mr. Bahl explained that at one stage in the confrontation between uniformed Palestinian police officers protecting Al Jazeera’s journalists and the crowd, one protester could be heard telling an officer that he was an off-duty member of the same police force. Ms. Sherlock also reported that while this “small group violently hammered the office door, smashed security cameras and scrawled graffiti” on the walls outside the Al Jazeera office, there were signs that other Palestinians were more upset with their own leadership for what the leaked documents revealed than with the news channel. Mohammed Jaradat, a Palestinian journalist, told Ms. Sherlock: “On Facebook, Twitter and online blogs, Palestinians are going crazy criticizing Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.”