Palestinian sources said the PA has sought to block demonstrations in
the West Bank that oppose Mubarak, for years a key ally of the
Fatah-controlled regime, Middle East Newsline reported.
They said a key concern was that these protests
would be used to rally against the regime of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
"The people want the fall of Abbas," Palestinian students chanted at an
anti-Mubarak demonstration on Feb. 2.
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The demonstration in Ramallah was attended by about 1,000 Palestinians,
including former ministers. During most of the protest, the demonstrators
were harassed by PA security forces, particularly the European-trained
anti-riot police squad and the Preventive Security Apparatus.
Some of the officers were said to have been dressed as demonstrators. In
the end, the anti-Mubarak rally proceeded without arrests.
The sources said Abbas ordered Fatah to organize pro-Mubarak
demonstrations in the West Bank. After the Feb. 2 protest, Fatah operatives
were sent to Ramallah to express support for Egypt as well as Abbas.
"The people want Mahmoud Abbas," the Fatah operatives chanted.