PA urges peaceful protests amid UN bid

PA security forces spokesman says no "anarchy" would be allowed during demonstrations protesters will be restricted to PA-controlled areas.

September 20, 2011 18:36
3 minute read.
Pro-Palestine rally at Kalandia

Pro-Palestine rally at Kalandia_311. (photo credit: Reuters)

On the eve of the UN vote on the Palestinian Authority’s application for full membership in the international organization, Palestinian officials in Ramallah called for “peaceful demonstration” in support of the statehood bid.

The officials, on the other hand, expressed fear over what they described as an upsurge in settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank in recent days.

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PA and Fatah officials have called for “mass demonstrations and rallies” in the West Bank and east Jerusalem on Wednesday and Friday in solidarity with the statehood bid.

Adnan Damiri, spokesman for the PA security forces in the West Bank, said his forces would not allow any form of “anarchy” during the demonstrations.

The PA security forces have also been instructed to prevent the use of firearms by Palestinians during the “celebrations,” he said.

Damiri said Palestinians would not be permitted to leave areas under the control of the PA – a reference to the possibility some Palestinians would try to march toward IDF checkpoints and settlements.

“Our goal is to prevent friction with the occupation forces and the settlers,” he explained.

Damiri and other PA officials accused Israel of trying to “scare Palestinians as if we are on the verge of a world war.”

Damiri called on Palestinians not to give Israel and the settlers an excuse to escalate the situation.

He also warned that the PA security forces would “confront” any attempt by settlers to enter PA-controlled territories in the West Bank “because this is our legitimate right.”

Ghassan Khatib, spokesman for the PA government, called on the international community to immediately intervene to halt “ongoing and growing settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties.”

He said it was inconceivable that Israel has been warning against possible Palestinian violence this week “while the only violence was coming from the occupation and the settlers.” Khatib also hinted there was a link between the settler violence and the statehood bid at the UN.

Israeli police have recently set up a special task force to stem far-Right attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank.

Police arrested a second suspect on Tuesday in connection with a series of “price tag” attacks that occurred in the West Bank in recent weeks. The suspect, 18, is a resident of Kiryat Arba. Sources close to the suspect said he had lost a brother to a terrorist attack in the past, and he said security forces have warned him he would be arrested during a recent conversation.

Earlier on Tuesday, a 25- year-old suspect, taken into custody Monday on suspicion of vandalizing and sabotaging IDF jeeps during a price tag attack this month, was ordered to remain in custody for five days by the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court.

The suspect, named as Alex Ostrovsky, has denied any links to the incident.

In the center of Ramallah, Palestinians installed a large seat as a symbol of a Palestinian state’s membership in the UN.

Dozens of Palestinian children delivered a letter to the UN representatives in the city calling for recognition of a Palestinian state on the pre- 1967 lines.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.

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