West Bank: ‘Arab Spring’ Protest Hits Palestinian Authority – Is The Muslim Brotherhood Poised To Take Over?
The Muslim Brotherhood, which has risen to power in the most populous country in the Arab world and continues to gain ground in Syria, is the parent organization of Hamas. If protests spread in the West Bank we may once again bear witness to the Muslim Brotherhood uprooting one authority and replacing it with another in its own likeness …
The protesters held up signs which read, ‘Go away Fayyad’ and ‘Abbas and Fayyad, your government does not represent us.’ The protesters were also joined by Hamas parliamentarians.
PA Arabs have been protesting over rising food and public transportation prices, and Wednesday’s protest came one day after a demonstration in Hevron, during which protesters burned a puppet made to look like Fayyad. Demonstrations also took place in Bethlehem and Ramallah.
Fayyad said with respect to the public protest that he understood the demonstrators’ frustrations and is aware of the economic difficulties facing the Palestinian Authority. He acknowledged the high rate of unemployment and the fact that the government financial safety net is not enough to help needy families.
Fayyad pledged to work vigorously to increase social assistance to the needy, but said that the economic problems of the Palestinian Authority are mainly due to external factors, such as the rise in food prices and the Israeli ‘occupation’ which prevents economic growth. He called on donor countries to fulfill their obligations to the PA and transfer financial assistance. He also said that financial aid is needed in Jerusalem, to support action against its ‘Judaization.’
The PA government currently faces its worst financial crisis since its 1994 establishment. The crisis has rendered the PA unable to pay employees their salaries or pay off debts it owes to private businesses.
Fayyad warned several months ago that the Palestinian Authority may soon fail financially and cease to exist.” Read more.
Gaza’s Hamas Hopes to Revive Egyptian Ties with Muslim Brotherhood – “Dusty and palm-dotted, this Palestinian frontier town abutting the northern edge of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has emerged as the starkest symbol of Hamas’s hopes for a new era of relations between Gaza and Egypt. The Palestinian militant group has been isolated by Israel, the West — and, previously, by Egypt’s former autocracy — since it wrested control of this seaside territory in 2007. But with the rise of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas — a Brotherhood offshoot — sees new opportunity… Egypt has been urging Fatah [in the West Bank] and Hamas, bitter rivals, to form a unity government that could push for an independent Palestinian state…” Read more.