On Tuesday night and Wednesday throughout the day, thousands of Palestinians from all political parties took part in random massive demonstrations, including a mass demonstration in Ramallah Wednesday afternoon.
Demonstrators raised Palestinian flags and posters of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) leader Ahmad Saadat, who was the main target of the Israeli assault on the Jericho Prison.
Participants in the demonstrations condemned the Israeli attack on the Jericho Jail and the kidnapping of the General Secretary of the PFLP, Mr. Ahmad Saadat, and dozens of other prisoners on Tuesday. Palestinian national and Islamic factions participated in the demonstrations to protest the attack and what they called the American-British collusion with the Israelis.
The Higher Follow-Up Committee for National and Islamic Factions in Israel called for a general strike on Wednesday to protest the assault on Jericho Prison. The Committee also condemned the arrest of Saadat, Fouad Al Shobaki, the head of the Palestinian military finance department, and several PFLP, Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades members during the prison invasion.
In the city of Tulkarem, in the northern part of the West Bank, a general strike was observed in the city, along with massive demonstrations in the city and nearby refugee camps. And throughout the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, protestors called on the Palestinian resistance fighters to avenge this humiliating assault, and called on Palestinian President to return from his tour in Europe and resign from the Palestinian Authority for having allowed such a humiliation to take place.
Many Palestinians blamed US and British forces for colluding with Israel by withdrawing their guards from the prison just before the Israeli invasion.
The speed with which Israeli forces moved into the jail, surrounding it within about 30 minutes of the monitors pulling out, prompted widespread suspicion among Palestinians. Within hours of the Israeli invasion Tuesday, gunmen kidnapped at least nine foreigners in Gaza and the West Bank, later releasing six of them, including Americans and Australians. Those still held last night were thought to be two French journalists and a South Korean. A gunman was killed in a confrontation with the Palestinian police as some foreigners were abducted from a Gaza hotel.
Hundreds of people, led by armed men, stormed the British Council offices in Gaza Tuesday afternoon and set it on fire after a brief shootout with police, who fled. They raised the PFLP flag over the European commission building. Crowds shouted "Death to Americans, death to the British".
In Ramallah, gangs attacked the British Council and EU offices, destroying property. The UN pulled all its foreign workers out of the occupied territories, and the border crossing between Gaza and Egypt was closed after EU monitors fled, and foreign aid workers took shelter in the offices of the Palestinian security forces.
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz verified the Palestinians’ suspicion on Wednesday, admitting that Israel had in fact been planning this attack in cooperation with US and British authorities.
Several resistance groups called for retaliation, and asked the now-ruling Hamas party to declare an official ending of the ceasefire with Israel. They further held the US and British governments responsible for the lives of Saadat and the rest of the prisoners.
The armed wing of the PFLP, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, threatened that its fighters will retaliate against the Israeli abduction of their leader, Ahmad Saadat, warning US and British citizens of the coming retaliation for what they referred to as "the [US and Britain’s] cowardly cooperation in this conspiracy."