PA bans protests after hundreds oppose punitive measures on Gaza

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinian Authority has temporarily banned public protests, it announces Wednesday, ahead of a planned demonstration in the West Bank opposing punitive measures by the PA against Hamas-run Gaza.

Late Sunday hundreds took to the streets of Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority, calling for PA President Mahmoud Abbas to end measures against Gaza that critics say harm the two million residents.

Organizers estimated 2,000 people attended, a rare show of opposition to the government in the city.

A statement on official news agency Wafa says Wednesday no permits for protests would be given out during the coming days — citing the Eid Muslim festival which is expected to begin Friday.

“In order to facilitate citizens’ normal life in this period, it is prohibited to grant permits to organize marches or to establish gatherings that would disrupt the movement of citizens and disturb them,” it says.

Despite the ban, organizers vow to go ahead with fresh anti-government protests on Wednesday night.

“The (Israeli) occupation is the main culprit responsible for the blockade on Gaza, but President Abbas is making things worse by also imposing collective punishment on families there,” campaign activist Fadi Quran says, vowing to take to the streets.


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