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.

 

Lebanon’s Hariri suspends resignation

Divided Syria opposition meets in Riyadh

Revolt in US State Department over child soldier law

US carries out air strikes against IS in Libya

Morocco bans bitcoin transactions

Saudi-led coalition to reopen Yemen airport, port to aid

Turkey court rules to keep Amnesty chief in jail

France calls for UN meeting on Libya slave-trading

Egypt detains 29 for allegedly spying for Turkey

WTO panel to hear Qatar’s complaint against UAE blockade

Three dead as diphtheria spreads in Yemen

Israel seizes explosive material at Gaza border

Activists call for release of UK journalist held by IS

Bahrain upholds jail sentence for activist

Iraq attacks at lowest since 2014

Turkey continues crackdown in post-coup probe

Hariri back in Lebanon

Putin to hold Syria peace talks with Erdogan, Rouhani

Lebanon's Hariri in Egypt ahead of return home

Rebels say Sanaa airport 'ready to run' after coalition bombing

Greece to amend historic sharia law for Muslim minority

Turkey to ask Germany to extradite top coup suspect

Car bomb in northern Iraq kills at least 24

13 million Syrians need aid despite relative drop in violence

Sudan urged to improve plight of Darfur's displaced people

Brain drain means Syria can’t recover for a generation

Palestinians close communication lines with Americans

Anti-IS coalition strikes drop to lowest number

German police arrest six Syrians ‘planning terror attack’

Palestinian factions in Cairo for reconciliation talks

Turkish opposition daily web editor sentenced to 3 years in jail

Israeli police arrest 33 in ultra-Orthodox draft riots

Turkish lira at new low against US dollar

Islamic republic declares end of Islamic State

Assad in Russia for talks with Putin

UN chief horrified by Libya slave auctions

Qatar 2022 chief has no regrets over hosting World Cup

Gheit says Lebanon should be 'spared' from regional tensions

Saudi Arabia, Arab allies push for unity against Iran, Hezbollah meddling

Syria ‘de-escalation zone’ does nothing to stop civilian deaths

Is a demilitarised Palestinian state a viable option?

S&P affirms good Saudi credit ratings

Israel president faces big backlash over Palestinian scarf

Sudan leader to visit Russia Thursday

Seven years into Libya’s civil war, the chaos continues