RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- 22:48
Here ends our account of how the day unfolded in Ramallah, as Palestinians took to the streets to demand a new Palestinian strategy. It was not clear Tuesday if the groups organizing the last three demonstrations had plans for more.
One factor will be the outcome of an inquiry into the violence, and the Palestinian Authority is urging the public to give the panel a chance to work. The PA minister of interior addressed a group of journalists
this morning and told them he was serious about implementing any decision taken by the committee.
That protest, by the Palestinian journalists syndicate, was held separately outside the Ministry of Interior. A number of press freedom groups in Palestine and abroad have blasted the PA
over the violence, which followed a series of violations of press freedom in March.21:51
A set of Ma'an photos
from the demonstration just went up. Here's two: 20:38
According to a government source quoted by Reuters
, police were under orders to allow the protesters to reach President Abbas' compound. "The streets are open to us today, and that's the result of a political decision. They realize the violence before made them look bad," said Ali Nakhle, a student.20:22
to read our latest report of the protest, which ended without incident. 19:09
The protest is winding down on its own. Police have generally stayed away, as the Palestinian Authority seeks to cool tensions after last weekend's violence. A protest leader says he believes a decision was taken from the top not to intervene this time. 18:53
Among the faces at today's demonstration: Bassam Tamimi, the Palestinian protest leader held for over a year in Israeli custody and released this spring.
Tamimi, a leader in the popular struggle against settlements in Nabi Saleh, told Ma'an that he was "really happy" to see people protesting and called the youth "the hope of our future ... It doesn't matter if you're for or against Oslo and Mofaz - we are all here for our rights."
Bilin village protest leader Abdullah Abu Rahma also attended the march. 18:32
At a meeting of the Palestinian Authority cabinet this evening, ministers affirmed their commitment to freedom of expression ("in accordance with the law"), an emailed statement says.
It says an investigative committee formed by the interior minister into the violence on Saturday and Sunday has already started working and will submit its recommendations to avoid future incidents.
The committee will also "hold those involved accountable to any violations of the law."18:26
The protest is heading back toward Manara square after reaching the presidential headquarters without incident, a Ma'an reporter has observed.
Here's a handful of reactions from the demonstrators: 18:10
Here's a second update from our correspondent who just sent back a selection of the chants being heard now outside the presidential headquarters:
"The people want to bring down Oslo," "Down with military rule" and "No to negotiations."17:50
While today's march has been peaceful so far, the European Union security agency which trains Palestinian police says the EU remains concerned about last week's violence.
In remarks to our office
in Bethlehem, Benoit Cusin said that the EU "continually stresses the necessity to uphold international human rights standards and respect fundamental freedoms, in particular the right to peaceful protest and demonstration and freedom of expression and the media."
The EU also welcomes the Palestinian Authority's promises to investigate, he said. 17:41
One of Ma'an's correspondents in Manara says there are no police to be seen (in uniform, anyway). "People are shouting for their rights and against negotiations." 17:31
Palestinian activists estimate at least 300 protesters have set off from Manara to Abbas' headquarters, where police beat back crowds on Saturday and Sunday. 17:15
Palestinian youth are in Ramallah's central Manara square and reading out a statement articulating their demands. Numbers are in the low hundreds so far. 17:03
Palestinians are protesting in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday, demanding an end to negotiations with Israel and respect for freedom of expression.
Tuesday's march is the third since Saturday, when police cracked down on demonstrators angered by a since-canceled meeting between President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli vice premier Shaul Mofaz.
Follow this live report for a minute-by-minute update of events as they happen.