This morning, over 100 people gathered at the meeting hall of the protestant church in Ramallah for the formation of the Palestinian Coalition against Direct Negotiations. The Coalition formed by independent and left forces, among them the Stop the Wall Campaign. The purpose of the gathering was to discuss steps to denounce the decision of the Palestinian National Authority to enter once again into direct negotiations. The members of the Coalition contest the rationale behind the decision, particularly at a time when Israel continues to build settlements and the Wall, demolishes homes and brutally represses Palestinian civil society.
Soon after the meeting had started, at 11 am, plain-clothes officers from the PNA entered the meeting hall where concerned citizens were discussing their political positions and plans to oppose the decision of the PNA.
The agents disrupted the meeting, shouting and accusing the people of undermining Abu Mazen and Fateh, despite the fact that Fateh members were participating in the meeting. Then they attacked the media covering the event making it impossible to report on the scenes that followed. A cameraman was beaten up, his equipment damaged and his videotapes confiscated. Once the media stopped recording, they started beating the people. Many were chased through the streets of Ramallah.