Ahead of Clashes With Israeli Army: Palestinian Groups Call for Al-Aqsa Protests

Fatah and Hamas call for rallies and protests in the West Bank and Gaza after Friday's prayers as part of a popular struggle against IDF forces

Clashes between Muslim worshippers and Israeli forces at Friday afternoon prayers in Jerusalem outside Al-Aqsa Mosque on July 14, 2017.
Emil Salman

Palestinian organizations Hamas and Fatah called Wednesday for Palestinians to take to the streets this Friday for protests in support of Palestinians demonstrating outside Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. 

At a Palestinian Authority meeting on Tuesday evening, leaders reached a decision to organize a rally this week after Friday prayers followed by protests at central squares and points of friction with the Israeli army. 

According to the officials, the plan is to present the march as part of a popular struggle against the IDF forces. There will be no masked gunmen or signs of an armed struggle, the officials said. 

Hamas called on Palestinians in Gaza to head out to the streets as well, where marches and rallies are planned on the border with Israel. Clashes with Israeli soldiers are expected.

Senior Fatah officials told Haaretz that over the past day, group leadership held meetings with their field operatives to coordinate Friday's protest. Local operatives are now enlisting participants, hoping to attract as many people as possible.

Though all Palestinian factions issued the call to protest, the Fatah is the primary advocate of the planned West Bank rallies. Hamas' Interior Ministry held a small march on Wednesday in solidarity with those barricading themselves inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque.