Thursday, July 5, 2012
Palestinians have protested a planned meeting between President Mahmoud Abbas and an Israeli party head.
By Ben White
"It has been a bad week at the office for the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership. Last weekend, protests on successive days against the proposed meeting between President Mahmoud Abbas and Kadima Party head Shaul Mofaz were met with violent attacks by PA forces.
The harassment and baton swings (including the targeting of the media) provoked yet another demonstration on Tuesday, where there were chants against Oslo, the PA, and the repression of dissent. Groups like Amnesty International have also spoken out.
By coincidence, two other stories were reported at the same time: first, the detention of around 200 people in recent weeks by the PA, particularly in the northern West Bank; and second, the request by Israel on behalf of Salam Fayyad for an IMF loan to help prevent a PA financial collapse.
This is shaping up to be a time of clarity, and the issues go much deeper than heavy-handed EU-trained police. It is a moment to acknowledge that three cornerstones of the status quo - the official peace process, the PA structure, and the two-state framework - are not just flawed or in trouble, but are thwarting the realisation of Palestinian rights by their very nature......"