A Palestinian Authority Arab accidentally set himself on fire Tuesday while attacking Israeli security forces with a firebomb outside Ofer Prison, located on the Jerusalem-Ramallah highway. The man was treated for burns.
The violent protest and attacks were part of Palestinian Authority “Prisoners’ Day,” which this year was supposed to be accompanied by a hunger strike. It also was staged several hours before a scheduled meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who pulled out at the last minute. He may have changed course because of popular opposition to his meeting with the Prime Minister.
The scheduled direct talks Tuesday night were another “last chance” for the Obama administration to save its long-lost “peace process.” Instead of Fayyad, PA negotiator Saeb Erekat met with Prime Minister Netanyahu, and a joint statement said only that both sides are “committed to reaching peace.”
While Abbas looks for more international support, his own Fatah party is far from unity with the Hamas terrorist organization, which rules in Gaza. Fatah has accused Hamas of taking actions to divert attention from its own internal problems.
The Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority also is suffering from an ongoing financial crisis, sacrificing billons of dollars in European aide on behalf of Hamas the past five years, when Fatah leaders fled from Gaza during a bloody militia war.