Palestinians in Ramallah on Sunday pelted the convoy of visiting Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird with eggs, saying he was not welcome in the Palestinian territories because of his bias in favor of Israel.
The incident took place as Baird left a meeting with Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Maliki.
No one was hurt in the attack. Some of the vehicles in the convoy took direct hits. Some of the eggs also hit the building housing the Palestinian ministry.
Palestinian policemen managed to stop the protesters from approaching the minister and his entourage.
The protesters carried placards that read: “Canada supports terrorism,” “You are not welcome” and “Baird does not represent the Canadian people.” Other protesters expressed outrage at Maliki’s agreement to meet with Baird. “Dr. Maliki, why are you welcoming this apartheid lover?” read one placard.
The protest was organized by members of Fatah’s Youth Movement, who last Friday called on the PA leadership to boycott the Canadian guest.
Leaflets distributed by the movement in Ramallah condemned Baird for his support for “Israeli occupation, apartheid and war crimes.” The leaflets denounced Baird as a “Likud minister.”
One of the organizers of the protest said he and his friends came to demonstrate against Baird and his government.
“The Canadian government supported Israeli terrorism and crimes that were perpetrated against our children in the Gaza Strip,” the Fatah activist said. “This government also supports settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank. This government fully supports the Zionist entity.”
Another activist who participated in the protest said the Canadian government was “complicit in Israeli crimes and killings and that’s why the Canadian foreign minister today received the kind of reception he deserves.”
Chief PLO Negotiator Saeb Erekat issued a statement in which he accused Baird of contributing to Israeli violations of Palestinian rights.
Erekat said Baird has “systematically lobbied against all Palestinian diplomatic initiatives. This includes his attempts to legitimize the illegal Israeli annexation of occupied east Jerusalem” by meeting with Israeli officials in the eastern part of the city.
“We regret the Canadian government’s decision to stand on the wrong side of history by blindly supporting the Israeli occupation and its apartheid policies,” Erekat added.
During the meeting in Ramallah, Maliki called on Baird to exert pressure on Israel to release tax revenues belonging to the PA that were frozen by Israel earlier this month. He also urged Baird not to endorse Israeli policies and to focus on “ending occupation on the basis of a two-state solution through serious and responsible negotiations.”