Protesters Rally Against “Peace Talks” in Al Ma’asara, Ramallah, Washington DC

3 September 2010

A crowd of around thirty protesters gathered in al-Ma’asara today in protest of the direct negotiations that began Tuesday between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The demonstrators marched from the center of the village to the main road waving Palestinian flags and carrying a large banner that read “No Peace Show, We Want Justice, Freedom and International Law.” The protesters were met at the main road by five army jeeps filled with Israeli soldiers who immediately began throwing sound grenades at their feet. The soldiers pushed the demonstrators back about 30 feet, throwing dozens of sound grenades and some tear gas into the crowd. Demonstrators chanted against the occupation, the settlements and the negotiations, which the Palestinian authority has entered into despite continued settlement expansion and an overwhelming lack of support from the Palestinian people.

Today’s protest came on the heels of a large protests in Ramallah Wednesday, in which around 400 protesters spoke out against Abbas’ decision to enter into negotiations with Israel. Protesters gathered in al-Manara square, where speakers gave rousing speeches against what they described as another fruitless round of negotiations. Among the speakers was Palestinian Legislative Councilman Mustafa Barghouti, who announced that “the international community has used peace talks as a cover for peace, and it is not working.” The negotiation began a day after the illegal Elon Moreh settlement attempted expand by three additional units, inspiring further outrage among the Palestinian community.

The negotiations have also been met with protests in Gaza and in Washington DC, where protesters staged a “peace charade” in front of the white house (see video below). Throughout the protests one message was clear: there can be no peace agreement until Israel agrees to respect human rights and international law.