Ramallah demo backs Egypt revolution
Hundreds of Palestinians have staged a demonstration in the West Bank to express their solidarity with the anti-government protesters in Egypt.
Palestinians, including university students as well as members of foreign NGOs, held a rally in Ramallah on Saturday in support of the popular revolution in Egypt.
The protesters waved Egyptian and Palestinian flags and carried portraits of one of President Hosni Mubarak’s predecessors, former President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who is regarded as a hero figure in the Arab world, AFP reported.
"This demonstration is a message of solidarity and brotherhood with the Egyptian people battling for democracy and reforms," said Hanan Ashrawi, an executive committee member of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Mamdouh al-Ikir, the commissioner general of the Independent Commission for Human Rights, also attended the demonstration.
The demonstrators carried banners reading "From Ramallah to Tahrir Square, the people want change," and "Down with oppressive regimes."
Palestinian Authority security forces were deployed on the roads ending in the downtown al-Manara Square and reportedly used excessive force to disperse the protesters.
Organizers said around 2,000 people attended the demonstration, which was the largest of four held to show solidarity with the Egyptian and Tunisian anti-government movements.
On Thursday, the Palestinian Authority banned all rallies in support of Egypt and Tunisia, saying the decision was in the interest of stability in the West Bank and arguing that protests created chaos.
However, protest organizers issued a statement on Saturday in which they vowed to continue holding events “in support of freedom of speech, against Israel’s occupation and apartheid, and in solidarity with struggles around the world -- especially in the Arab world -- for freedom, democracy and social justice."
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