Militant Jews, Palestinians united —against Annapolis

With all eyes on the Israeli-Palestinian “breakthrough” at the Annapolis talks, the West Bank is under siege—this time by Palestinian security forces. Hisham Baradi, 36, an anti-Annapolis protester with the Hizb al-Tahrir (Party of Liberation), was killed when Palestinian Authority police opened fire on marchers in Hebron Nov. 27. At least 60 were injured in street clashes. The protests were jointly organized by Hizb al-Tahrir and Hamas. Earlier that day, Palestinian police barred the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) from marching against the Annapolis summit in Ramallah. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 28; YNet, Nov. 27) On the Israeli side, right-wing protesters packed Jerusalem’s Paris Square Nov. 26, shouting “no” to a divided Jerusalem and “yes” to more West Bank settlements. The rally followed a larger protest at the Western Wall, where some 15,000 prayed for the Annapolis talks to fail. (Washington Jewish Week, Nov. 29)

The New York Times Nov. 28 front-page headline on the “breakthrough” tellingly read: “Israel and Palestinians Set Goal of a Treaty in 2008; Both Sides Stress a Central Role for the U.S.”

Our last post on Israel/Palestine.

  1. Fatah dissent to West Bank repression
    From the independent Palestinian Ma’an News Agency, Nov. 28:

    Fatah expressed its concern on Wednesday over the future of Palestinian democracy as a result of the Palestinian Authority banning rallies and gatherings, both pro and anti-Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas and the Annapolis conference.

    In a press release, they reiterated their support for Abbas and the Palestinian negotiation team, saying they hold Hamas responsible for the escalating political tensions in the Palestinian territories.

    However, they said they considered the decision to ban rallies and gatherings to be an unprecedented and dangerous violation of freedom of expression.

    They also condemned the assaults on journalists and demonstrators, perpetrated by Palestinian security services during anti-Annapolis rallies in a number of West Bank cities on Tuesday.