Palestinian Authority officials are reportedly organizing a grassroots protest against Israel’s plans to extend sovereignty to her Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley.
The protests, to be led by Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction, are reportedly planned to take place Monday (June 22) in various sites across PA-controlled areas in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley.
“I fervently hope to see participation by all Palestinians whether in the West Bank or in the Gaza Strip or in Jerusalem and in the Palestinian diaspora – each in accordance with his own circumstances,” Fatah secretary-general Jibril Rajoub told international reporters at a news conference Sunday.
“Our participation in the rally will absolutely be in accordance with the instructions of the Ministry of Health in regard to social distancing, wearing a mask and obeying all safety instructions,” he added.
Rajoub’s remarks and the added promise to comply with health guidelines came in response to news of a lockdown imposed by the Palestinian Authority government in hopes of stemming a second wave of the coronavirus in the PA section of Hebron, and throughout Shechem (Nablus).
The Ramallah government announced that Hebron governorate is to be locked down for at least the next five days, with the exception of essential food supplies and pharmaceuticals and the like. In Shechem, residents were told to stay within 150 meters of their homes.
The main demonstration against the Israeli sovereignty plan is expected to take place in Jericho, with representatives from the European Union, the United Nations and Jordan attending as witnesses.
“We do not expect people to arrive from areas where coronavirus cases are registered,” Rajoub said, “but wherever the virus has not yet appeared, come by private vehicles or in trucks.”
It is very probable that as with a previous protest however there will be far fewer “protesters” than Rajoub is promising and hoping for, especially given the current coronavirus conditions across the region.
Rajoub also attacked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying he acted with “the logic of a neighborhood gangster” and claiming that despite being democratically elected to his post, “so were Hitler and Mussolini.”