Security forces in Ramallah have fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse protesters rallying against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, as popular anger boils over after a deadly Israeli attack on a Gaza hospital.
Tuesday’s air strike on Al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital is believed to be the single deadliest incident in Gaza since October 7. Authorities estimated it killed more than 500 people.
The strike drew condemnation from across the world, and protests were staged at Israel’s embassies in Turkey and Jordan, as well as near the United States Embassy in Lebanon. Israel has denied responsibility for the attack, though it has led a continued bombing campaign throughout the Gaza Strip.
Abbas cancelled a planned meeting in Jordan with US President Joe Biden on Tuesday, in protest of the hospital bombardment and other attacks.
But as he returned to the West Bank, Abbas was greeted by hundreds of demonstrators marching in Ramallah’s central Manara Square to express frustration with the Palestinian Authority. Some chanted in support of Hamas leaders. Others threw rocks.
Clashes with Palestinian security forces also broke out in the West Bank cities of Nablus, Tubas and Jenin, a northern city that was the focus of major Israeli military operations earlier this year, according to witnesses.
The outbreak of West Bank protests highlights long-simmering Palestinian anger against Abbas, whose forces have faced criticism for coordinating with Israel on security in the territory.