‘Not welcome’: Palestinians protest Blinken’s Ramallah visit

“Blinken’s visit is an attempt to further entrench a settler colonial and capitalist agenda that strikes at the heart of the liberation movement,” said a protest spokeswoman.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Taking to the streets of Ramallah with signs reading “Blinken, you are not welcome” and chanting “America is the head of the snake,” hundreds of Palestinian protesters demonstrated against U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s meeting with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday.

The protests were organized by the the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces, an umbrella group representing various factions.

“Blinken’s visit is the [theater] of politics and bad-will diplomacy in an attempt to fragment our unified struggle and further entrench a settler colonial and capitalist agenda that strikes at the heart of the liberation movement,” a spokeswoman said in a statement.

“We reject the imposition of the U.S. to broker false negotiations between our colonizers and the defunct and corrupt leadership in Ramallah.”

Hebrew language media reported that protesters also chanted “Security coordination is shameful,” and “the Oslo Accords are gone.”

The vocal displeasure against PA cooperation with Israel comes against a backdrop of Hamas’ increased presence in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.

In recent weeks, Hamas-affiliated Palestinians have repeatedly raised the terror group’s flag on the Temple Mount, and according to NGO Your Jerusalem are now openly operating out of eastern Jerusalem mosques.

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According to a State Department transcript, Blinken’s meeting with Abbas kicked off with the PA president referring to him by the wrong name.

“In the name of God, the merciful and the compassionate, we would like to welcome Secretary Clinton, who visits us these – in these days,” Abbas said, before being swiftly corrected by his staff.

During the meeting, Blinken said the U.S. “will be moving forward with the process to reopen our consulate in Jerusalem. That’s an important way for our country to engage with and provide support for the Palestinian people.”

In 2019, former president Donald Trump merged the Palestinian consulate with the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. The move offended Palestinian officials, who severed contacts with the mission.

“As I told the president, I am here to underscore the commitment of the United States government to its relationship with the Palestinian Authority,” Blinken told Abbas.