Demonstrations planned to support UN bid

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The West Bank will witness large demonstrations Wednesday in support of the UN statehood bid, and some institutions are encouraging their employees and students to take the day off to attend.

In Ramallah, Palestinians are expected to gather in the early morning for a march to the tomb of late President Yasser Arafat.

An official from the Union of Workers, Mueen Insawi, told Ma’an that the union decided to suspend work at 10 a.m. to allow employees to participate in the marches.

Some transportation will also be free to allow people to attend.

The Birzeit University student senate has also announced that it will be suspending all lectures from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. in order to allow students to participate.

The ministry of education will also suspend classes during the rallies.

In Bethlehem, Muhammad Al-Masri, a Fatah member, told Ma’an that marches will head toward the Nativity square. All universities and schools in the city will be participating, he said.

In Gaza, the government has banned demonstrations in favor of the initiative.

“Seeking to prevent any moves that could further disagreement and rivalry, Hamas and Fatah agreed to avoid any popular activities, or rallies both pro or against the UN bid,” a statement said.

Fatah leader Thiab al-Louh  on Monday denied that an agreement had been reached in the Gaza Strip to prevent the organization of rallies supporting the UN bid.

Al-Louh said the claims “represent Hamas’ own attitude,” noting that Fatah had asked that the public be allowed enough freedom to express “their feelings at this historic stage.”

(www.maannews.net / 20.09.2011)

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