In a surprising and significant step, Fatah has issued a statement criticizing the Palestinian Authority’s ban on demonstrations protesting the Annapolis Conference, and the Palestinian security force’s attacks on demonstrators and on journalists at a number of demonstrations throughout the West Bank.
Predictably, however, the Fatah statement blamed Hamas, according to the report by the Ma’an news agency.
Maan wrote that “Fatah expressed its concern on Wednesday over the future of Palestinian democracy as a result of the Palestinian Authority banning rallies and gatherings, both pro and anti Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and the conference.
In a press release, they reiterated their support for Abbas and the Palestinian negotiation team, saying they hold Hamas responsible for the escalating political tensions in the Palestinian territories. However, they said they considered the decision to ban rallies and gatherings to be an unprecedented and dangerous violation of freedom of expression. They also condemned the assaults on journalists and demonstrators, perpetrated by Palestinian security services during anti-Annapolis rallies in a number of cities on Tuesday.” The Maan report on Fatah’s statement is published here.