In Ramallah, most Palestinians seem to be more concerned by the coronavirus pandemic than by the Israeli sovereignty bid, as the growing number of COVID-19 cases being diagnosed in the Palestinian Authority could again spell lockdowns for West Bank cities.
Despite calls by Palestinian officials and the head of the Gaza Strip-based Hamas terrorist group for the Palestinians to take to the streets en masse to protest Israel’s move, a visit to Ramallah hardly showed any signs of public unrest.
The Palestinian police in the city were also mostly preoccupied with enforcing the social distancing guidelines imposed by the Palestinian Health Ministry.
“People are fed up with all the fighting and struggles. They just want to go out to work in the morning and provide for their families,” a local coffee-shop owner told Israel Hayom.
“Maybe on Wednesday you’ll see young people clash with the soldiers and throw stones at the IDF base nearby,” he said, adding, “The days when tens of thousands of Palestinian would leave the house [to protest] are over. If Trump gave the Israelis Jerusalem and people didn’t take to the streets to protest, they won’t do it over the annexation, either.”
A Palestinian official told Israel Hayom that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “is lulling the situation on the ground. He doesn’t even care about what [Blue and White leader and prime minister-designate Benny] Gantz has to say, so why would he care about the Palestinians’ threats?”
The official went on to say that Arab leaders were no longer concerned with the Palestinian cause, and that he hoped the Palestinian leadership wouldn’t do anything “reckless.”
“Unfortunately, the leaders of the Arab world no longer care about the Palestinians, either, which is why the annexation bid is allowed to go through. I just hope the Palestinian leadership won’t do anything reckless that would cost us all dearly.”
Both the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships were going about things the wrong way, he said.
“Our leadership has failed, and the Israeli leadership isn’t going about this in a smart way, either. Instead of resuming negotiations, you’re letting the Americans do things for you, while our side expects Arab leaders to look out for Palestinian interests.”
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.