Left-wing groups and parties held marches in several parts of the West Bank on Saturday, challenging the negotiations currently taking place between the Palestinian Authority and Israeli officials, governed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, as a farce that will never lead to lasting peace.Hundreds of people marched in Hebron and Nablus, rejecting the framework established by John Kerry for the talks, saying that the framework would “liquidate the question of Palestine and prolong the Israeli occupation.”
The framework, as described in media reports, would involve the handover of large swaths of historic Palestine to become part of the Israeli state, as well as continuing the Israeli military occupation of most parts of the West Bank and continuing the Israeli policy of refusing to define its borders.
This policy, which has been central to the Israeli state since its creation, in 1948, has allowed the Israeli military and civilian authorities to expand the territory of their state at will, taking over more and more Palestinian land every year – particularly in the years since the military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza began, in 1967.
Saturday’s protest in Hebron consisted of a number of left-wing parties, who gathered at the al-Hussein Ibn Ali stadium for a rally, then marched through the streets carrying flags and banners, ending at a protest tent set up by UNRWA employees to show solidarity with the striking workers.
Fahmi Shahin, of the Palestinian People’s Party, said in his address to the demonstrators that the Palestinian Authority must ‘immediately stop peace negotiations and to reject the US sponsorship to these talks”, adding that the U.S. proposal “to accept the Israeli occupation as a fact must be rejected.”
At the Saturday protest in Nablus, demonstrators gathered at Martyr’s Circle in the center of the city, and marched through the streets with signs, flags and banners. The message at the Nablus protest was similar to that of the protest in Hebron, with speakers condemning the US proposal for a framework of negotiations that would greatly favor the Israeli agenda to further entrench their control over the whole of historic Palestine, while squeezing the indigenous Palestinians into smaller and smaller enclaves.
Ramzi Rabah, of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, pointed out that the visits of John Kerry to the region, on numerous occasions over the last several months, have served only to allow the Israelis to increase their settlements, which have been constructed on stolen Palestinian land throughout the West Bank.
He challenged what he termed the “ vicious circle of futile negotiations”, and called on the Palestinian Authority leadership to reject the framework proposed by John Kerry.