Anger in Palestine over Trump plan, but protests see low turnout


Ramallah, inhabited West Bank – A day after United States President Donald Trump announced his Middle East strategy to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, calls for mobilisation by various Palestinian factions have gone mainly unheeded.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pledged popular mobilisations against the offer, as groups consisting of the Palestinian Freedom Organisation (PLO) and Hamas, which has governed the occupied Gaza Strip given that 2007, called for mass demonstrations.


But while Palestinians were outraged by Trump’s announcement on Tuesday, with some describing it as “ a new Balfour Declaration“, many rejected the US-Israeli announcement as “absolutely nothing brand-new”.

” The statement brought us a lot of anger and frustration,” said Maan Musatafa, a 39- year-old cabby in the occupied West Bank

” But the reality is, we have actually been living under this offer and under de facto Israeli occupation for decades. So, the statement wasn’t new or stunning,” he told Al Jazeera.

Seif Abdo, a 27- year-old student from East Jerusalem, agreed: “Absolutely nothing is new. Absolutely nothing has actually altered. It’s already our reality.”

” Trump has actually already acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, moved the US embassy there, and implemented Israeli law in the Jordan Valley and Golan Heights,” he added.

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Trump’s plan calls for a two-state solution to the decades-old conflict and for a four-year freeze in new Israeli settlement construction, throughout which details of an extensive agreement would be worked out.

It recommends Jerusalem as the “undistracted capital” of Israel, while guaranteeing the Palestinians a state of their own and a new capital in eastern Jerusalem. This proposition had actually been rejected by Palestinians in the past.

For lots of Palestinians, the four-year window implied the plan had no instant impact, one of the reasons the protests on Wednesday saw a low turnout.

” Going to the streets will not change much. We aren’t taking this offer seriously specifically that it won’t work instantly,” stated Sami Fawzi, a 55- year-old entrepreneur in Ramallah.

” We still have four years. Who understands what will happen?”

In spite of his evident sense of passiveness, Fawzi swore that Palestinians will battle against the strategy. “Palestine is not for sale. Specifically when it pertains to Jerusalem. That’s a red line.”

Erratic demonstrations

In spite of a low turnout throughout Palestinian cities amidst heavy Israeli security existence, sporadic protests emerged across the occupied West Bank.

Raising Palestinian flags, lots of individuals gathered in the city of Tubas in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley.

A big contingent of Israeli security forces, deployed in the location because Tuesday, responded with tear gas to disperse the crowd, witnesses told Al Jazeera

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Israeli forces also shut off roadways causing the Jordan Valley and stopped buses bring demonstrators from across the West Bank headed towards the area, said witnesses.

In Bethlehem a little group of Palestinians collected in the streets in the early afternoon to denounce the plan, with some burning the flag of the United States and pictures of Trump.

Another little demonstration was held by school students in the Palestinian city of Tulkarem.

At least 41 individuals were wounded in small clashes after the Israeli forces used rubber bullets and tear gas in the Jordan Valley, the Al-Orub refugee camp and Tulkarem, said the Red Cross in a statement.

Palestinian students demonstration versus Trump’s Middle East strategy in occupied Gaza Strip [Ibraheem Abu Mustafa [Reuters]

‘ No trust in Palestinian management’

Palestinian scholastic Khalil al-Tafakji told Al Jazeera the low turnout on the streets was because of a lack of trust between the Palestinian individuals and their management.

” There is no trust between the Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership,” said Tafakji. “They feel that even if they oppose, their leadership might offer them out and consent to the handle a couple of weeks.”

According to Yara Hawari, senior fellow at the Palestinian policy network, Al-Shabaka, the lack of mobilisation was because of the US-Israeli statement being “simply an expression of a policy that has currently been continuous”.

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She said political mobilisation has actually frequently shown to be pricey for Palestinians, with a fear of Israeli effects being another cause behind the low turnout.

” We have seen in Gaza what takes place when masses of Palestinians require their rights in line with global law. They are met harsh violence,” said Hawari.

Political mobilisation

Still, the Palestinian Authority has actually vowed to act, calling for an emergency Arab League top which the PA stated will be kept in Cairo on Saturday, while another meeting with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation ( OIC) is arranged on Monday.

The PA also stated it will be satisfying the Hamas leadership in Gaza next week to talk about a joint prepare for opposing the deal.

” The offer has no touch with truth or with worldwide law. We have called on the Arab League and the European Union to support us,” said Nabil Shaath, senior advisor to the Palestinian president.

” We are hoping for popular action on the street however it will take time. It’s a long-lasting battle. And people will not mobilise until we (politicians) do our part,” said Shaath.

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