Saturday, October 02, 2004

Palestinians shun intifada rallies (JPost)

A rally organized in Ramallah on Wednesday to mark the fourth anniversary of the intifada was attended by fewer than 150 Palestinians. Similar rallies in other West Bank cities also drew small crowds, prompting journalists and Palestinian political activists to wonder what went wrong.

Organizers said they expected thousands of people of people to participate in the Ramallah rally, which was organized by The National and Islamic Forces, an alliance of Palestinian groups including Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP).

Husam Izz Addin, a reporter with the PA's daily Al Ayyam, pointed out that the low turnout raised many eyebrows in Ramallah. "Many people, including leaders of the Palestinian factions, expressed astonishment at the small number of participants in what was supposed to be a major rally in the center of Ramallah," he said.

He noted that Hamas and Fatah supporters were conspicuously absent from the rally – to the dismay of the organizers.