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PA Calls for ‘Day of Rage;’ US Suspends Travel to Jericho

The PA joins the ’Day of Rage” phenomenon following US veto of anti-Israel resolution. The US restricts travel in Judea and Samaria.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 2/20/2011, 8:34 AM

Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority has joined the Arab world's spreading ’Day of Rage” phenomenon following the American veto Friday of a much publicized anti-Israel resolution in the United Nations Security Council.

After the vote, the United States imposed sharp limits in travel by American personnel Judea and Samaria, which now joins Bahrain, Libya and Tunisia on the U.S. State Department’s travel warning list.

"As a precautionary measure, the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem has suspended all personal travel of official American personnel to Jericho and has restricted personal travel of official American personnel on routes 1 and 90 to pre-authorized travel only,” the State Department advised. Route 90 is the north-south highway running though the Jordan Valley. Route 1 refers to the section connecting the lower Jordan Valley with Jerusalem.

The restrictions, in effect through Monday, include an order to American staff to avoid Jericho, located in the southern Jordan Valley, and were issued following the U.S. veto of the Lebanon-sponsored United Nations resolution condemning Israel for a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.

Egypt denounced the United States, charging that “the veto, which contradicts the American public stance rejecting settlement policy, will lead to more damage to the United States' credibility on the Arab side as a mediator in peace efforts.”

The Palestinian Authority, which has incited violence on its website while preaching non-violence and "resistance" on English-language sites, is organizing the ”Day of Rage”  to protest the American veto.

The Obama administration had explained its veto by saying  that although it objects to a Jewish presence in areas claimed by the Palestinian Authority, direct talks between the PA and Israel are the only way to address the issues in conflict. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas conditioned direct talks on a halt to all building for Jews in Judea and Samaria, and the ”diplomatic process” is widely considered to be a hopeless failure.

Tawfik Al-Tirawi, a member of the Central Committee of Fatah, the faction headed by Abbas, called on Arabs to demonstrate, with the largest protest slated for Friday, the Muslim day of rest.

Both Fatah and its rival Hamas condemned the veto, charging that it proves that the United States is not a fair mediator because it does not accept the PA position.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum expressed hope that the American veto will help re-unite the two factions because “the veto reveals the reality of the clear U.S. support to what the Zionist enemy does against our people.”

He added, "Let's start a new phase to empower the internal Palestinian unity."