PA Orchestrates Ramallah Rally for Independence

The Palestinian Authority orchestrated a large rally in Ramallah Wednesday to celebrate independence even though it may be premature.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu ,

Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority orchestrated a large rally of several thousand Arabs in Ramallah Wednesday to celebrate independence even though it may be premature.

The rally was far from spontaneous and “was carefully orchestrated, with civil servants and schoolchildren given time off to participate,” the Associated Press reported. They waved pictures of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Yasser Arafat and flags of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority.

Although PA leaders called for non-violence, hundreds of Arabs rioted near Jewish communities, and IDF soldiers are deployed at the community of Shiloh to prevent a large crowd from marching towards the Jewish residents.

Rioters burned tires and threw stones at soldiers and Jewish cars on roads in Samaria.

Abbas still has said he will carry through his threat to ask the United Nations for unilateral recognition of the Palestinian Authority based on the Arab world’s territorial and political demands.

Although the rally really is premature, it may build up frustration in the Arab street if Western diplomats succeed in stalling Abbas’ move and pressuring him to return to direct talks with Israel.

Drumming up expectations that will not be fulfilled could ignite a vocal minority of Arabs who want to wage war against Israel regardless of any agreement.

A new Hebrew University poll published Wednesday revealed that while 80 percent of Palestinian Authority Arabs back the move to the United Nations, 26 percent support a return to armed attacks on army and settlers to force Israelis to withdraw from their state.

The survey was carried out jointly by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah.


Pictures courtesy of Panet.