Hundreds of Hebron Residents Demonstrate for National Unity
On Tuesday, March 15th, 2011, hundreds of students and faculty from Hebron University marched from the campus to a rally before the City Center in a demonstration aimed to encourage a unity Palestinian party. Demonstrators waved Palestinian flags and carried signs decrying both internal political jockeying and the divisive struggle between rival Fatah and Hamas groups, as well as calling for an end to the Israeli occupation.
The conflict between Fatah and Hamas has been at times violent and, more recently, a political battle to lay claim to the voice of Palestine. Many Palestinians blame the continued occupation by Israel on this fractured infighting; with a single, powerful voice, the demand to end the occupation would be far more potent. Similar rallies for unity were held simultaneously across the West Bank and Gaza Strip, eliciting statements from both Hamas and Fatah.
The Hebron demonstration lasted two hours, filling the square before the municipal building and spilling out into the surrounding streets. A few Palestinian Authority police officers looked on from the fringes of the crowd, but no Israeli forces were present.