Most Palestinians Accuse Abbas of Silencing Dissent – Karin Laub and Mohammed Daraghmeh
(dailyalert.org, Dec. 18, 2014)
Two-thirds of Palestinians say they are afraid to criticize Mahmoud Abbas, according to a poll published last week by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. Security agents routinely monitor social media and send threats or complaints to some of those criticizing Abbas. Critics say that after a decade in power, Abbas is overseeing a largely authoritarian system with shrinking room for dissent.
“We face an autocratic regime that doesn’t believe in any freedoms, in freedom of unions or freedom of speech,” said Jihad Harb, a Fatah member. “The people are now terrified. They don’t speak up, fearing reprisal.” Ahmed Assaf, a Fatah spokesman, responded, “If you look around and see what is going on in the Arab world, you realize how much freedom we enjoy here.” (AP)