As the revolutionary upsurge that started in Tunisia continues in Egypt, expressions of Palestinian solidarity are being suppressed by the PA. The Angry Arab reports on the police (non)state in Ramallah. He received this text message: "Greetings, I would like to remain anonymous regarding my name. I am writing to you to tell you that the Palestinian Authority has yet again obstructed and threatened anyone who will show up at the peaceful protest scheduled to happen today in front of the Egyptian embassy in Ramallah.... This is the second time that the PA refuses to let the Palestinians express solidarity with first our Tunisian brethren and sisters in their popular uprising and now in supporting the Egyptian people in their uprising against Mubarak's regime."
Max Blumenthal carries a similar report “We, a group of Independent, liberal leaning Palestinian youth, organized a demonstration near the Egyptian embassy using social media tools such as Facebook, to our surprise one of the organizers was upheld unlawfully and threatened by the Police, Intelligence service and Preventive force on separate basis that if the event takes place he will be tortured and made to pay a heavy price. According to their conversations, they claimed that the order came directly from President Abbas office. We are under constant surveillance and harassment since saturday.
After forcing one of the members to cancel an event on Facebook sending a message to thousands of ‘confirmed attendees’, we still went near the Egyptian embassy today at 4:00 pm. During the protest the police violently assaulted several peaceful protesters and threatened the use of brutal force if anyone raised any slogans.
These and other actions relating to the arrest of Journalists, activists and not as the PA claims only from the Islamist ranks, but also includes activists in Liberal and other leftist youth groups. Palestinians who used to express their opinions freely despite measures of occupation are now under the tutelage of two occupations suffocating our political, economic and social rights.”
This confirmed by Human Rights Watch
"Palestinian Authority security forces shut down a demonstration on [Sunday] in front of the Egyptian embassy in Ramallah, after calling in one of the organizers for questioning on [Saturday] and ordering him to cancel the event notice that he had created on Facebook. Human Rights Watch monitored the demonstration and spoke with participants.
At around 4 p.m., the first of roughly 40 to 50 Palestinian demonstrators began to gather in front of the embassy to show solidarity for ongoing protests in Egypt, but were met by 20 armed police who immediately tried to confiscate cameras and ordered a journalist to turn off her microphone and recorder. Security agents wearing masks drove up in a Palestinian Preventive Security service jeep – which was driving very fast, apparently to intimidate protesters – and were soon joined by officers in two other jeeps and three police cars, and a van of the kind the PA uses for arrests and prisoner transport.
Demonstrators said they had expected a higher turnout, but that Palestinian security agencies had called in one of the organizers of the protest for questioning three times in the last 24 hours and told him to cancel the event because, “there were orders that no event related to Tunisia or Egypt was allowed at this time.” Members of the Facebook page calling for the demonstration received Facebook messages late last night saying that it was canceled.
Security forces pushed the demonstrators around 300 meters away from the Egyptian embassy. At that point, a man who identified himself as a police commander said the demonstrators were in a “security area” and would have to disperse. Several women demonstrators told the police that Palestinian law required the demonstrators to notify the authorities 48 hours in advance and that they had done so. Women also convinced three policemen to release a demonstrator they had seized and dragged away when he shouted, “Long live Egypt!” The police dispersed the protest after one hour.
Human Rights Watch called on the Palestinian Authority to stop security forces’ arbitrary interference with peaceful demonstrations."
This follows earlier suppression of demonstrations in support of the Tunisian uprising.
Ma'an News also carries a report quoting Omar Barghouti that the PA forces' "heavy-handed suppression of the youth-initiated and -led peaceful celebration of the Tunisian uprising's overthrow of the dictator, Ben-Ali, indicates where the PA's loyalty lies. Autocratic, unelected regimes tend to identify with one another, it seems. The glaring difference here, in the occupied Palestinian territory, is that the PA is trying to 'rule' by decree while we are still under foreign occupation...After Tunis, there is no telling when the next Arab dictator will fall. One, Ben-Ali, is gone; 21 remain."