Bethlehem – Ma’an – Witnesses said that 500 protesters gathered in downtown Ramallah on Monday afternoon in the latest expression of public anger at the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) decision to delay action on a United Nations report on alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza.
Organizers said that up to 1000 people attended the demonstration.
Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and the Diaspora have been united in their outrage at the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas for ordering the PLO envoy to Geneva to defer action in the UN Human Rights Council on the report compiled by former war crimes prosecutor Richard Goldstone.
Media reports have suggested that Abbas’ government made the decision under heavy international pressure led by the US.
Monday’s demonstration in Al-Manara square went ahead without incident or interference from PA security forces, witnesses said.
Political parties, the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) and civil society organizations called for the demonstration.
Among the parties who visibly attended the demonstration were the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI – Al-Mubadara) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP).
One of the convening organizations, the Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, also issued a statement in advance of the protest.
“This irresponsible action is detrimental to the interests of our people, their rights and their struggle. It denies justice to the sacrifices of our people and the blood of our martyrs,” the organization said of the decision to postpone the vote in the Human Rights Council.
The delay of the vote was, the campaign said, “a slap in the face of all those who stand in solidarity with our people's struggle for justice, and all of the human rights organizations and institutions which have mobilized their forces to hold Israel accountable for its massacres and violations of Palestinian rights”