PA Bans West Bank Tunisia Rally

Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces have scuttled a rally in the West Bank, planned to show solidarity for the uprising in Tunisia, the French daily Le Monde has reported.

The rally on Wednesday was denied permission by the security forces.

Le Monde reported that a few dozen Palestinians who arrived nevertheless in the square in Ramallah, where the rally was to take place, found that members of the ruling Fatah party had chosen the same time and place to stage a demonstration in support of Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

It was not clear whose demonstration was planned first.

Benjamin Barthe, a correspondent for Le Monde, said that a police cordon around the square and “the presence among the demonstrators of many mukhabarat [secret police] officers left little doubt about the Palestinian Authority’s intention to prevent any expression of solidarity with the Jasmine Revolution," in Tunisia, which led the president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, to flee into exile.

A young demonstrator waving a Tunisian flag was assaulted by PA forces, according to the report.

Ghassan Khatib, a PA spokesman, said the police regretted the incident "if it happened".

The police promised to investigate any complaint upon receiving one, Khatib said.

The uprising in Tunisia has inspired dissent across the Arab world and sparked widespread protests.
 
(Agencies via Aljazeera)

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