Jehad Abusalim- PalThink for Strategic Studies
In March, spring arrives bringing with it shine and beauty after the long days of dark winter. In Palestine, another spring has begun on the 15th of March, a spring that shines with courage and determination to stand against the divided rulers of the West Bank and Gaza. On that remarkable day, the 15th of March, for the first time, the masses led the leaders, the parties, and created a new reality, despite that the protest was raided and stopped.
Both parties realized the importance of the March 15th protest; they understood that the Palestinian youth will not keep silent. After years of political division and following the Arab World’s massive turmoil and revolts against injustice, Palestinian youth decided not to be left out of the equation. These Palestinian youth gave a great example of determination and commitment to impose positive change in their leaderships.
The demonstrations of 15th of March did not stand for a long time. The protesters in Gaza and the West Bank encountered several difficulties. First, this was the first time for the majority of the protestors to be involved in any political activities. Even though it was their first time, the protestors proved their ability to effectively express their positions. Second, there were tensions because of the participation of some partisan groups; this led to clashes. Afterwards, the security forces intervened and raided the protest in Gaza. Some of the participants were injured and some were detained.
Tens of raids, attacks, and acts of oppression against the protestors were recorded in both Gaza and the West Bank yesterday. Today, students gathered at al-Azhar University in Gaza in an attempt to start a new protest, but clashes with the police forces took place and they were prevented from doing so.
The reason behind raiding the protest was the fear of the ruling governments from the development of this action into a new political reality. For this reason, both parties, Fatah and Hamas, have announced positive statements and positions concerning reconciliation. Hamas’ Prime Minister Hanniyah announced yesterday that he would meet the prisdent of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, in order to overcome the division. Today, in his speech, Mahmoud Abbas stated that he wants to visit Gaza, and the government in Gaza responded that it will prepare the “appropriate arrangements” for Abbas’s visit.