First Published: 2005-06-24

 
Islamic Jihad rallies in Ramallah
 

Several hundred supporters of radical Palestinian movement hold rally despite Palestinian Authority’s ban.

 

Middle East Online

Islamic Jihad militants burning Israeli flag

RAMALLAH, West Bank - Tension ran high in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Friday as several hundred supporters of the radical Palestinian movement Islamic Jihad held a rally, an AFP correspondent said.

Palestinian security official tried to stop the organisers from setting up a podium in Manara Square of central Ramallah and confiscated loudspeakers they had brought along for the event.

However, the gathering went ahead, with supporters chanting slogans against the Palestinian Authority (PA).

"We are astonished by the PA's decision to ban our march," shouted Islamic Jihad spokesman Khader Adnan.

Addressing the crowd, he said the group rejected any attempt to disarm the Palestinian factions and urged the PA to avoid "setting itself up against the resistance".

The demonstration broke up at the request of Palestinian security forces after the protestors burned an Israeli flag.

Around a thousand people attended a similar Islamic Jihad demonstration in Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip. Unusually for such a gathering, not a single gunman was seen among the demonstrators.

Over 50 suspected Islamic Jihad activists were arrested by Israeli troops in the West Bank earlier this week following a series of attacks and attempted operations claimed by the movement.

On Tuesday, Israel also tried to assassinate an Islamic Jihad member in an air strike in Gaza in what was the first such targeted killing operation in months.

Khaled al-Batsh, a senior Islamic Jihad official, told AFP the Israeli "threats to arrest or assassinate Jihad members" risks destroying the fragile truce which has been observed by militant groups since the end of January.

"The truce is on its last legs and is just waiting for the death blow from the Israeli occupier," Batsh said.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has long insisted the Palestinian Authority take action to disarm and dismantle militant groups such as Islamic Jihad and its larger rival, Hamas.

He has made it a condition for any Israeli concessions.

 

Yemen warring parties 'closer' to agreement

Major assaults target IS jihadists in Iraq, Syria

Netanyahu forms ultra-nationalist Israel government

New Afghan Taliban leader named

Female Emirati pilot issues rallying cry to young women

Sudan accuses UN official of 'false' reports on displaced

Egypt quashes prison sentences for 47 protesters

At least 5 drown off Libya coast

Coalition airstrike kills six Yemen civilians 'by mistake'

Erdogan chairs first meeting of new Turkey cabinet

Pope prays to 'convert hearts' of ISIS extremists

Egypt expels French journalist amid crackdown on media

Israeli rights group gives up on army complaints system

Hamas-led council backs executions without Abbas approval

Syrian base used by Russia damaged in IS attack

Kurdish, Arab forces announce anti-IS offensive north of Syria's Raqa

Palestinian PM dismisses Netanyahu proposal

Israel PM's travel expenses under scrutiny

EgyptAir victims' relatives give samples for DNA tests

Iran sends new delegation to Saudi for hajj talks

Hardline cleric elected head of Iran's Assembly of Experts

Civilians trapped as Fallujah siege tightens

Iraq's Fallujah offensive draws attention from embattled PM

Turkey incoming PM unveils cabinet

US, Russia scramble to save Syria truce

Libyan coastguards intercept 550 bound for Europe

Campus bomb kills two in Yemen's Sanaa

Saudi soldier killed in landmine blast on Yemen border

Over 148 killed in IS bombings in Syria regime heartland

Iraq forces battle IS jihadists to retake Fallujah

Erdogan advisor says Turkey could suspend EU deals

Iraq launches military operation to retake Fallujah

Oil prices dip as Iran says no to output freeze

Skepticism ahead of Istanbul humanitarian summit

Sudan steps up pressure for exit of Darfur peacekeepers

UN Palestinian agency says half its schools hit by conflict

Bombs kill more than 120 in Syria regime strongholds

Netanyahu rejects French peace initiative

Gunmen kill 8 worshipers in Darfur

India in deal to turn Iran port into trade hub

Turkey's incoming PM working on new cabinet

Israel lifts ban on Gaza cement deliveries

Yemen warring parties meet after long pause

Egypt enlists submersible to search for EgyptAir crash clues

Tunisia's Ennahda reelects Ghannouchi as party chief