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Nablus: Protests for unity continue

March 17, 2011 12:59 P.M. (Updated: March 18, 2011 3:14 A.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- A group of young Palestinians woke up in Martyrs Square for the third day in a row on Thursday, greeting dawn in the northern West Bank city of Nablus with a continued call for their leaders to end political division.

Numbers of young people staying overnight in the street have grown, from ten on day one, two 20 the following day.

"Our number is increasing, we’re not politically affiliated to anyone, we have received no help and we will not ask for any," Usama Herzallah, 24 told Ma'an from the square.

"Our goal is noble and clear. It’s time to end the division, today before tomorrow."

The leaders of the Nablus protesters said they were in touch with their peers in the streets of Ramallah and Gaza City through Facebook and mobile phone.

"We are with them, we will not leave until the division is over, even if it takes a thousand days," Herzallah said.

An Israeli military patrol entered Nablus early Thursday morning, worrying protesters who had set up tents where they have been spending the nights. But the group was not harassed, he said.

Herzallah said the local government was also being supportive, noting that the Nablus governor had visited them on Wednesday night and shared a meal with protesters, donating blankest for those sleeping outdoors.

Police, the protest organizer said, were being cooperative, and helping to ensure the protest remained peaceful in the face of agitators. .

At night on Thursday, Herzallah said, there was a call to join the group in the city center for a candle-lit sit-in as demonstrators await news from President Mahmoud Abbas, who said Wednesday that he would accept an invitation by the Gaza government to go for talks in the coastal enclave.
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