RAMALLAH, West Bank — Thousands of Palestinians rallied in West Bank cities on Monday in support of President
Palestinians carried pictures of the Palestinian leader and banners expressing support for Abbas, who Palestinians fear faces pressure from Obama and other world leaders to accept a framework peace agreement with Israel that falls short of their aspirations for independence.
"We are here, Mr. President, to tell you that we are behind you in your efforts to find a solution to our just case that would end the [Israeli] occupation and establish our independent state on all the territories occupied in 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital," said
Wasel abu Yousef, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said Palestinians would not give up what they see as their right to return to lands in Israel many of them fled during its establishment in 1947.
Palestinians widely believe that the framework plan put together by Secretary of State
They also believe it calls for an extension to the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations Kerry has re-launched at the end of July and which are supposed to end next month with a final peace settlement.
Abbas' critics among the Palestinians believe he went to Washington intent on extending the negotiations past their April 29 deadline.
The rallies were planned by Abbas'
Scouts marched through the streets playing nationalist songs as people stood and watched, occasionally clapping and cheering whenever an official said something in support of Abbas.
Two ultra-Orthodox Jews from the anti-Zionist Neturi Karta movement stood on the podium in Ramallah in a show of support for the Palestinian demands for an end to the Israeli occupation and the establishment of an independent state.
The pro-Abbas Fatah rallies in the Gaza Strip were broken up by