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Interior minister orders investigation into Ramallah clashes

July 2, 2012 10:02 P.M. (Updated: July 3, 2012 10:05 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- PA Minister of Interior Said Abu Ali said Monday he will form a committee to investigate clashes between police and protesters in Ramallah in the last two days.

Youth had gathered in Ramallah on Saturday to protest the leadership's scheduling of a meeting with the Israeli vice premier. Police detained seven protesters and ten people were hospitalized, prompting a second protest on Sunday criticizing police brutality.

The rally was again blocked forcefully, with at least another ten people taken to hospital, and seven protesters and at least two journalists taken into custody.

The interior minister said that based on the committee's recommendations, the Palestinian Authority will take all necessary legal and internal procedures in line with its commitment to freedom of expression and right to assembly.

He called on all Palestinians to obey the law in order to avoid repetition of the events in Ramallah.

Security forces spokesman Adnan Dmeiri had defended his forces on Sunday, saying fighting only broke out when protesters tried to reach the presidential headquarters, which police are required to stop as protesting there is forbidden.

He said police were investigating who was behind the protest, saying the "agendas of those unknown movements are to create chaos and harm security and attack Palestinian police."

But the forceful reaction to the protests drew criticism from some Palestinian officials who said the police were under standing orders not to intervene.

At a PLO executive committee meeting ahead of Saturday's march, officials reiterated their opposition to any interference against the protest, two officials told Ma'an.
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