RAMALLAH, Feb 23 (JMCC) - Palestinians support Libyans in their search for freedom, democracy and an end to tyranny, PLO
executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi
In the Palestinian leadership's first clear statement on violence in Libya that has reportedly claimed hundreds of lives, Ashrawi said she was appalled by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's threats against his own people.
Gaddafi gave a rambling 75-minute televised address Tuesday night in which he warned he would go house-to-house to end demonstrations that are threatening to topple him after four decades of rule.
“In both word and deed, Gaddafi continues to show utter disregard for the welfare, rights and safety of his own people, Ashrawi said.
He is threatening a civil war that will undoubtedly drag the country further into chaos and lead to more bloodshed. Libyans are well within their rights to demand reform and to protest peacefully.
She went on to call in the strongest possible terms on the Libyan government to cease all aggression against its own civilians.”
Demonstrations against the Libyan government began on February 17 after widespread protests in Egypt and Tunisia led to the resignations of their presidents.
The Palestinian Authority
was cautious in its statements about the pro-democracy protests in Egypt, wary of angering former president Hosni Mubarak, who was a close ally.
While the Palestinian leadership has not had a similar diplomatic relationship with Gaddafi, Libya under his rule has supported Palestinians with funding and moral backing.
Two weeks ago, the Libyan leader called on
Palestinians around the world to follow the lead of protesters in Egypt and Tunis and mass peacefully on the shores of Israel to demand Palestinian rights.