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Tuesday July 3, 2012 6:04 AM (EST+7)
Palestinians reject police violence, call for action

Read more: freedom of expression, police, police violence, demonstrations, protests, Ramallah, freedom of speech

RAMALLAH, July 2 (JMCC) - Palestinians, through social media and numerous organizing groups, condemned two separate incidents on Saturday and Sunday in which police attacked Ramallah demonstrators and journalists.

Presidential spokesperson Hussein al-Araj apologized on behalf of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, reported the Jerusalem Post, telling reporters at a PLO meeting that a committee would be formed to investigate the incidents.

Abbas himself gave an address upholding freedom of expression, but saying that law and order would be enforced.

Still activists called for a new demonstration Tuesday evening in Ramallah to protest police violence and demand an independent inquiry and action against those responsible.

“We call on all Palestinians from Haifa and Jenin to Ramle and Hebron to participate in the demonstration heading to the presidential headquarters, a statement said, We confirm that the physical pain will fade away, but not the disgrace of hitting [Palestinian protesters].”

Photos circulated on Facebook Monday showed police angrily raising their batons against unarmed protesters and injuries allegedly sustained by men, among them at least three journalists.

Security spokesperson Adnan Dmiri defended the police, pointing the finger at outside agitators that he said had caused the protests.

But even PLO spokesperson Hanan Ashrawi seemed to break with the leadership, calling for an independent inquiry and distributing a statement criticizing the police.

“The Palestinian youth are the leaders of our future, she said, and it is our responsibility to engage them in public life, to listen to their [sic],  and to take the message of their protest very seriously.”







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