Palestinian protesters demand Abbas resign over security coordination with Israel

Chanting “security coordination is treason,” Palestinians demand Abbas resign over the Palestinian Authority’s security coordination with Israel.

Several hundred Palestinians marched in an anti-government protest Monday, calling for the resignation of Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas and criticizing his security coordination with Israel.

Abbas administers parts of Judea and Samaria and his policy of cooperation between Israeli troops and PA forces against Islamic militants is unpopular among Palestinians.

Despite the tense relationship between Israel and the PA, the two benefit from limited coordination on security issues.

Separately, Palestinian journalists on Sunday staged a sit-in nearby to protest the violent dispersal of an anti-government protest by Palestinian riot police a day earlier. In that incident, helmeted troops beat demonstrators and journalists with clubs. Jihad Barakat of Palestine Today TV, said he was pushed and his camera was broken. He said he saw three colleagues being beaten with clubs.

Nasser Abu Bakr, head of the journalists’ union, said his organization demands that the riot troops who beat journalists on Sunday be put on trial.

Critics say Abbas and his government are becoming increasingly intolerant of dissent. Dozens of people have been detained after peaceful protests in the past six months, though most were released, said Amar Dweik, head of Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights (PICHR).

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah promised Monday that he would launch an investigation into Sunday’s incident. He said he formed a committee that includes Dweik, the deputy interior minister and members of the lawyers’ union.

By: AP