World Bulletin / News Desk
Hundreds of demonstrators marched on the offices of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday to protest against diplomatic contacts with Israel and to denounce police violence at a previous rally.
Chanting for an end to the Oslo accords, the flag-waving crowd cut through Ramallah's crammed city centre under the watchful eye of scores of plainclothes security officers.
Heavy handed security forces intervened on Sunday to prevent a smaller group of protesters from reaching Abbas's headquarters in the occupied West Bank, and beat some journalists who tried to cover the event.
But a government source said police were under orders on Tuesday to allow the protesters to take their message to the gleaming stone walls of Abbas's compound, which is also the burial place of previous Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat.
"The streets are open to us today, and that's the result of a political decision. They realise the violence before made them look bad," said Ali Nakhle, a student who joined approximately 400 other, mainly youthful protesters in downtown Ramallah.
While there were no slogans directed specifically against Abbas himself, the protesters were scathing about a recent announcement that the Palestinian president was ready to meet Israeli Vice Premier Shaul Mofaz.
The planned encounter would have been the highest-level meeting between the two sides since direct peace talks broke down in 2010. However, it was abruptly called off at the weekend in apparent response to Palestinian public opinion.
"We want your head Mofaz," the crowds chanted on Tuesday, adding: "The people want the fall of Oslo," adapting a common refrain against the ruling elites in countless Arab Spring protests over the past 18 months.
The 1993 Oslo Accords gave the Palestinians limited self-rule in the occupied territories, and set out guidelines for future peace talks to end the Middle East conflict.
However, a lasting deal has proved elusive and the latest round of talks collapsed two years ago in a dispute over continued Jewish settlement building in the occupied West Bank.
The protesters, who do not appear to belong to any political faction, called for a fresh rally on Thursday, hoping their grass-root movement, which first took to the streets at the weekend, will gather momentum.
The demonstrations have come at a particularly delicate moment for Abbas's Palestinian Authority, which is facing a severe cash crisis because of a failure by some donor states, particularly in the Gulf, to hand over promised funds.
Finance Minister Nabil Kassis told reporters on Tuesday that the government could not pay its workers this month because the coffers were empty.
Kyiv claims Russian-backed separatist have used heavy armor in several assaults
The 'peshmerga-led ground offensive, backed by international coalition warplanes' has started
Ambitious scheme comes amid fears for country's oil production as militants attack infrastructure in Niger Delta
'Based on current assessment, cancelling or changing the location of the 2016 Olympics will not significantly alter the international spread of Zika virus,' the WHO says
The convention this year honors the holy Quran, and speakers address everyday challenges facing US Muslims
'Common religion and mutual sympathy unite our peoples and help us overcome difficulties,' says Russia's president
In the third attack in 72 hours, militants bomb another gas pipeline in the volatile delta region
Abdel-Fattah Sharif was killed two months ago by Israeli soldier despite being unarmed and injured at the time
Residents fleeing Fallujah suffer from ISIL and from random shelling by Iraqi warplanes
After closure of Idomeni camp, new sites lack sufficient food, water, toilets, showers, and power, says UN spokesperson
Early Saturday morning armed groups attacked the Nembe pipeline carrying crude exports.
Tribal chief says al-Hashd al-Shaabi blew up two mosques and looted dozens of homes in al-Karma city
Mobile game designed to raise awareness of Gaza attack overcomes challenges by Apple over political content
The World Health Organization (WHO) has rejected a call to move or postpone this summer's Rio Olympic Games over the Zika outbreak.
Donald Trump has hit back at Trump after he said that he would "cancel" the Paris climate deal in his first major speech on energy policy.