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Tuesday March 15, 2011 1:48 PM (EST+7)

RAMALLAH, March 15 (JMCC) - Several thousand people rallied in Ramallah Tuesday, calling for an end to political division and the Israeli occupation.

The demonstration, organized by youth groups on the social networking site Facebook, drew a wide cross-section of society. Businessmen in suits mingled with young women carrying Palestinian flags and handing out stickers calling for and end to Israel's occupation.

Boys with slicked-up hair carried a banner reading From Ramallah to Gaza, the people revolt with honor.

Political activists stood back in the crowd as young people led chants for unity and sacrifice. Hung from the nearby buildings was a sign portraying former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat with Hamas spiritual guide Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.

We want to an end to this division, said one 40-year-old women in a headscarf. We no longer feel that we want an end to the occupation, because people are so busy talking about Hamas or Fateh.

Not willing to give her name, she said she wasn't part of any organized group but had heard about the protest and decided to attend.

Its a long time since I've attended a demonstration, she said. The atmosphere is nice, but it feels weak. It shouldn't just be the young people. I wish the citizens would think about their country and all get involved.

She wasn't the only person to express disappointment. Three Birzeit university students stood at the edge of the crowd, holding a Palestinian flag.

We came here to ask for unity and an end to division, said Kamal Bimbashi, 19. We feel it - that our people are divided.

He heard about the protests on Facebook one month ago, when the call first went around. But looking around at the various youth contingents, he said, Still we are not one voice, each group is chanting on its own. We have to raise one voice against the enemy Israel.






Al-Madaris St. (same building as
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First Floor, Al-Bireh
PO Box 4045, Ramallah
PO Box 25047, Jerusalem 97300
Phone: ++972-2-297-6555
Fax: ++972-2-297-6555
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