Palestinian protesters demand Abbas resignation amid election boycott calls

Palestinian protesters demand Abbas resignation amid election boycott calls
Several hundred Palestinians marched in an anti-government protest on Monday, calling for the resignation of President Mahmoud Abbas and criticising his security coordination with Israel.
2 min read
14 March, 2017
Protesters demonstrated in central Ramallah [AFP]

Hundreds of Palestinian marched in anti-government protest on Monday, demanding the resignation of President Mahmoud Abbas amid calls for the boycotting of Palestinian elections set for May.

Protesters, including heads of local organisations and members of the Palestinian parliament, demonstrated in central Ramallah against what they called the "suppressive" force used by the West Bank's ruling Palestinian Authority [PA].

Palestinian journalists separately staged a sit-in to protest the violent dispersal of Sunday's anti-government demonstrations by the Palestinian riot police.

Critics have said Abbas and his government are becoming increasingly intolerant of dissent.

Separately, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP] announced on Monday it will suspend participation in the local elections in protest of PA police violent repression of protests.

PFPL's key member MP Khalida Jarrar said the left-wing party will not participate in the municipal elections set for May 13, to denounce the "suppressive" steps taken by PA police against the supporters and family of slain Palestinian activist Bassel al-Araj, who was killed by Israeli forces earlier this month.

Growing discontent with PA

The killing of Araj, a Palestinian writer, sparked anger among Palestinians, who blamed the PA's security forces of coordinating with Israel over the murder.

Activists have accused the PA, which previously detained Araj, of "collusion" in his death through its policy of sharing intelligence with Israel.

Participants in the protests chanted "security coordination is treason".

On Sunday, helmeted troops beat demonstrators and journalists with clubs.

Jihad Barakat of Palestine Today TV said he was pushed and that his camera was broken. He said he saw three colleagues being beaten with clubs.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah promised to launch an investigation into the incident.

Nasser Abu Bakr, head of the journalists' union, said his organisation demands that the riot troops who beat journalists on Sunday be put on trial.