MIDDLE EAST

Gazans rally for ‘decisive’ PLO decisions

GAZANS RALLY FOR ‘DECISIVE’ PLO DECISIONS

Scores of Palestinians staged a rally in Gaza City on Sunday to demand the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) take "decisive" decisions.

The PLO Central Council is set to convene on Sunday in the West Bank city of Ramallah to discuss steps to be taken against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The U.S. policy shift on Jerusalem has sparked outcry across the Arab and Muslim world and protests in the Palestinian territories that left at least 16 people dead.

Protesters waved banners calling on participants in Sunday's meeting to break the decade-long Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip and scrapping the 1993 Oslo peace accords with Israel.

"Our Palestinian people aspire to taking decisive decisions that help enhance their steadfastness," Sufian Matar, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Front, told the rally.

He called for drafting a new "national platform" with a view of restricting the PLO.

"The PLO Central Council must take decisive decisions for ending the suffering of Gaza people," he said.

On Saturday, the PLO Executive Committee called for a UN-sponsored international conference to solve the decades-long conflict between Israel and Palestine.

The PLO is an umbrella group that includes most major Palestinian political factions, with the exception of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, both of which are committed to a policy of armed resistance against Israel's decades-long occupation.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- occupied by Israel -- might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.

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