Mahmoud Abbas and his wife Amina.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Members of the family of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have secretly left Ramallah for Jordan, according to the online newspaper Rai Al-Youm.
“For the first time and secretly, all the members of President Abbas’s family have left to their residence in Amman,” the Monday report said.
It said that Abbas’s wife and grandchildren were among the family members who left Ramallah.
The newspaper said that Muhammad Shehadeh, who is in charge of Abbas’s security detail, has decided to beef up security around the PA president’s office and residence in Ramallah.
The departure of Abbas’s family and the tight security measures came in response to growing resentment among Palestinians with the PA president and his policies in wake of the Israeli military operation against Hamas.
Over the past two weeks, many Palestinians have accused Abbas of failing to display strong leadership in light of the operation. Some have gone as far as accusing him of collusion with Israel and Egypt.
Since the beginning of the operation, Palestinian demonstrators have clashed with PA policemen who tried to stop them from marching toward IDF checkpoints and settlements in various parts of the West Bank.
In the worst incident, at least 15 Palestinians were injured earlier this week during violent clashes with PA policemen in Nablus, who, according to witnesses, used live ammunition and tear gas to disperse the protesters.
Later, Palestinians hurled a petrol bomb at a PA security installation in Nablus.
Most of the Palestinian protests against the operation in the Gaza Strip have turned into anti-Abbas rallies, with many chanting slogans accusing the PA president of treason and calling for his resignation.
Witnesses noted that Fatah activists have been participating in Hamas-organized rallies in Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus and Tulkarm.