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.
European Parliament MEPs voted on a motion filed against European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and his commission over the so-called LuxLeaks affair.
Reconciliation not expected in potential cooperation between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots for sharing Cyprus' natural gas resources, say experts
78 children in Egypt under the age of 16 have been imprisoned for joining Muslim Brotherhood rallies calling for the return of ousted president Mohamed Morsi
The squabbling between India and Pakistan has held back SAARC for years, with the two sides' disagreements preventing progress in the consensus-based grouping.
Doctors earlier boarded the ship to examine the migrants, who included about 200 women and children. Most of the migrants were believed to be from Afghanistan and Syria
The proposals include giving Scotland the power to set income tax rates, some influence over welfare spending, and powers to decide how the Scottish parliament and other devolved political structures are selected and run.
Fighters dressed in army uniforms attacked an Indian army base in the occupied Kashmir, killing one soldier. Two fighters had been shot dead
American senators have written a joint letter to Uzbek leader Karimov requesting the release of political prisoners in that country.
Use of the Ajami language, which is a local Hausa dialect that uses Arabic letters, predates the arrival of the British in Nigeria.
Palestinian officials fear that an anticipated cold spell this winter could further aggravate the dire humanitarian situation in the blockaded Gaza Strip
State Department spokeswoman condemns the regime’s violence directed against civilians and its ongoing human rights abuses and violations of international law
On Wednesday, Egyptian authorities reopened the crossing after a one-month closure to help nearly 6,000 stranded Palestinians to return to the Gaza Strip.
The accident comes a day after 26 workers lost lives when a fire breaks out at coal mine in country’s northeast.
While the world is watching the developments in the Ferguson, black teens continue to be killed by police in the US
The army said in a statement that four were detained in Jenin in the north, two in Ramallah, five in Bethlehem and one in Anata village near Jerusalem
Europe has been swept lately by a wave of support for Palestinian statehood, as peace process remains deadlocked.