Ramallah Protesters Demand Abbas' Resignation
Around 200 people demonstrated in the city of Ramallah on Tuesday to demand the resignation of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, AFP reports.
Waving flags and shouting "Abu Mazen (Abbas) leave," the protesters marched from the central Al-Manara Square towards the presidential headquarters. They were blocked by police and there were some scuffles before the marchers dispersed.
AFP reported that the march had been called to denounce the arrest in the PA-assigned areas of Judea and Samaria, which are controlled by Abbas' Fatah party, of partisans of Hamas, and arrests in Hamas-controlled Gaza of Fatah sympathizers.
The latest protests come in the wake of violent Arab Spring-type protests which spread throughout Arab areas in Judea and Samaria last month.
The protesters demanded that Abbas’ Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, resign over the high costs of living. Israeli military and government leaders feared that the social protests in the PA will lead to anarchy, causing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to order the transfer of a 250 million shekel advance to the PA from tax revenues collected by Israel.
Fayyad announced that he is willing to resign if that is the “will of the people,” but, as usual, blamed Israel for the Palestinian Authority's financial troubles. Western mainstream media have long touted Fayyad as an economic wonder worker, but that has not panned out for the man in the street and the PA is bankrupt, owes the Israel Electric Company 700 million shekels.
Abbas “returned the favor” to Israel with a virulently anti-Israel speech in the UN General Assembly last week, in which he accused Israel of ethnic cleansing in Judea and Samaria.