Around 50 demonstrators from the General Union of Palestine Youth gathered for
half an hour at Damascus Gate in east Jerusalem on Tuesday afternoon to protest
the US veto of the UN resolution calling settlements illegal.
condemning what America did by their veto,” said east Jerusalem resident Kifah
Radaidah, a one of the organizers of the protest.
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“Obama already said
settlements are illegal in his Cairo speech, so how come when we have a serious
step to make this happen, they are not with us?” The protest was met with a
large police presence that outnumbered the demonstrators, and included a unit of
mounted police and police in full riot gear. The demonstration proceeded
“The credibility of the US is shaken and damaged all over the
world because of this,” said Radaidah.
She added that she was pleased
with the turnout that almost filled the stairs leading to Damascus Gate, even
though it was much less than the 3,000 reported at a parallel rally in
She said many Arab residents of east Jerusalem did not come
because they were worried about being identified by Israeli authorities and
questioned about their activities afterwards.
However, people are more
willing to come to these protests, given the recent demonstrations around the
Arab world, she said.
“The Arab people have removed the fear [of
demonstrating],” she said. “Now we believe in people more than the government.”