RAMALLAH March 17 (JMCC) - A government spokesperson rejected accusations Wednesday that Palestinian Authority
security forces had banned Palestinians from demonstrating in areas of the occupied West Bank under its control.
The Palestinian national authority, including the government and the security apparatuses, did not
place any obstacle in the way of our people`s right -- or rather our
people`s duty -- to express protest and anger against Israeli measures
and in the rest of the Palestinian territories
, media center head Ghassan Khatib
told Voice of Palestine radio.
The charges were leveled Tuesday on al-Jazeera television by a Fateh
leader in Jerusalem as hundreds of Palestinians protested in the city. Remarking that it was not in the interest of the Palestinian government to see a third uprising, Hatem Abdel Qader
said security forces were preventing solidarity protests.
Palestinian officials have warned that the intense settlement
construction in the areas of Jerusalem occupied by Israel in 1967 would
bring more unrest.
Stonethrowing and riots were sparked this week by the dedication of a large synagogue in the walled Old City, near Muslim holy sites. An estimated 90 Palestinians were injured in the clashes, and dozens of arrests made.
Some 40 Palestinians were injured in sporadic protests in the occupied West Bank Wednesday, but for the most part calm prevailed.
At the same time, police in riot gear could be seen in full force in the streets of Ramallah
, where Brazil's president paid a visit to his Palestinian counterpart.
The Palestinian people were united yesterday in confronting Israeli extremism, said Khatib.
On the other hand, the Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership are the only ones who will decide what form the protest and confrontation will take. They have decided not to be dragged into forms of confrontation that Israel
wishes them to endorse, namely violent confrontations, which we have already experienced and resulted in Israel winning the battle. Presently, we are at a stage of building, and the world is demonstrating an understanding for our positions and right to struggle peacefully.
The Palestinian government is working to implement a two-year plan after which Palestinians would be fully prepared for statehood. The document has been widely supported by western backers of the peace process
and negotiations with Israel.