I wrote this morning that I was astonished that the people in Gaza and the West Bank who protested against Hamas and Fatah selfishness had not caught on to the fact yet that their "unity" has been a sham to shut them up.
Now, Ma'an Arabic reports that 160 Palestinian Arab media figures and intellectuals are calling for a mass protest on February 1 against the PalArab leadership for precisely this reason.
Their document refers to the nearly five years of Palestinian division, their leaders' violations of human rights, the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. It notes the reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo in May "which has not yet become a reality." It calls for a political system that offers a decent living and is "pluralistic and democratic, open to all cultures, a system that respects women and ensure their freedom and equality."
It goes on to say that "the use of methods of peaceful protest organized and sustained and directed clearly against both sides of the split is a key factor to the success of our campaign."
The first phase is to organize a pan-Palestinian Arab protest on February 1 at 7:00 PM where people will go in the streets and bang pots and pans on roofs and from open windows for ten minutes.
The document does not name Fatah or Hamas by name.
The protesters are smart, calling not for people to gather in central squares where they can be harassed by security forces but to protest loudly from their homes.
Last time, Hamas tried to sabotage the popular protests; it will be most interesting to see how they react to this, if it gains traction.
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