There was a rare public display of unity between representatives of President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction and its arch-rivals from Gaza, the Islamist Hamas and Iranian-proxy Palestinian Islamic Jihad, at a Palestine Liberation Organization conference held yesterday in the West Bank town of Turmus Ayya east of Ramallah.
While organizers insisted the event was convened to project a united Palestinian front against Israeli annexation of lands they demand for a future state, most of the speakers demanded Arab rejection of normalized relations with the Jewish State.
“We come united – Fatah, Hamas and all Palestinian factions are here – to say no to any normalization, no to any annexation of Palestinian or Arab land,” declared former Palestinian Education Minister Sabri Saidam. He added that if there isn’t a “fair and just solution for the Palestinian cause, anything that is imposed on the Palestinians will be rejected.”
After the conclusion of the conference several dozen Palestinian activists clashed with Israeli Border police forces, who responded with crowd dispersal means. There were no reports of injuries among the Israeli troops, although local sources said that several of the rioters sustained minor injuries.
Despite repeated warnings over a possible military escalation, dozens of balloons strapped with incendiary and explosive devices were sent sailing from the Hamas-controlled enclave, which sparked more than 30 fires at wild forests and agricultural fields in Israel.
Police bomb disposal experts also detonated several improvised explosive devices that landed near Israeli population centers. No injuries or damage were reported.
In retaliation for the attacks, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit informed TV7 that “tanks targeted military posts belonging to the Hamas terror organization in the Gaza Strip.”