Thousands rally to support Abbas

2014-03-17 18:44
Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas. (Abbas Momani, AFP)

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas. (Abbas Momani, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ramallah - Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of West Bank cities Monday in support of president Mahmud Abbas's visit to Washington for talks with Barack Obama about the peace process with Israel.

Demonstrators waved the Palestinian national flag as well as that of Abbas's Fatah party, chanting "we are with you, president!" as Abbas was to weigh up an anticipated US request to extend the faltering negotiations with Israel.

"We're here today to stand up to pressures upon us and make sure president Abbas adheres to his convictions," said Nasser Eddin al-Shaer - former Palestinian education minister and member of Fatah's Islamist rivals Hamas - who joined a 5 000-strong rally in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Some 1 500 people turned out in the West Bank administrative centre of Ramallah, and more than 1 000 in the southern flashpoint city of Hebron.

Abbas was to meet President Obama in Washington on Monday, having travelled to the US nearly a fortnight after Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did the same, and as a 29 April deadline for the nine-month negotiations loomed.

Palestinian and Israeli leaders have been unable to move the talks forward since US Secretary of State John Kerry kick-started them at the end of July after intense efforts to bring the sides back to the table following a three-year freeze.

Bitter recriminations have taken precedent, with the two sides refusing to budge on key issues such as the borders of a future Palestinian state, security arrangements in the West Bank, the fate of Palestinian refugees and the final status of Jerusalem, claimed by both sides as a capital.

Israeli President Shimon Peres sought to clear the air on Monday, issuing a statement of support for Abbas.

"President Abbas is a man of principle; he is against terror, against violence. He is a good partner and I'm glad that our government is negotiating with him," Peres's office quoted him as saying in a statement.

"We are all waiting for peace; it is the wish of the Israeli and Palestinian people."

Clashes

The US is to propose a framework on which to base final status talks and has been calling for an extension of negotiations pending agreement by both sides on that framework.

Israel has recently kicked up a new obstacle to ending the decades-long conflict, demanding Palestinian recognition of it as a Jewish state.

Palestinian leaders have categorically rejected the calls.

In the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, public demonstrations were banned, but Fatah supporters nonetheless gathered at the Al-Aqsa University, a bastion of the West Bank-based movement.

"We informed Fatah members of the ban on celebrations they'd demanded to support Abu Mazen [Abbas], in order to maintain public order, and fearing that inter-Fatah differences could air themselves in public," said Islam Shahwan, a spokesperson for the Hamas government.

Abbas has had a spat with an exiled Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan, both accusing each other of complicity in the death of late Palestinian president Yasser Arafat.

Witnesses said there were confrontations between Fatah members at the 2 000-strong rally at Al-Aqsa University.

Read more on:    mahmud abbas  |  us  |  palestine  |  middle east peace

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Top 10 richest musicians of all time

Check out the gallery to find out who they are!

 
 

Luxury living

Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it
Watch: Flying first class has never been this luxurious!
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Innovation, idealism, romanticism and other far reaching dreams can lead you into a spiral of enthusiasm and excitement. Somewhere...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.