Popular anger is escalating in the West Bank against the Palestinian Authority in the wake of the events in the Gaza Strip, with solidarity demonstrations in recent days demanding the departure of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the repression of Palestinian security forces.

The PA, which emerged from the 1993 Oslo Accords, which were supposed to work towards the establishment of a Palestinian state, has fallen into stature, deadlocked more than 10 years ago.

Thirty years after the Oslo Accords, settlement construction has expanded in the West Bank, with the Israeli army regularly carrying out bloody raids, frequent confrontations between Palestinians and settlers, and the Palestinian Authority sticking to a negotiated solution.

With the beginning of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood and the escalation of the war between Israel and the Palestinian resistance on October 7, following a surprise attack unprecedented in the history of the Israeli occupation carried out by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), the Palestinian Authority and Abbas did not take a firm and clear position, unlike many Palestinian supporters and non-supporters of Hamas, which they considered a "humiliating defeat" inflicted on Israel.

Last week, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa published a criticizing statement by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas saying Hamas's policies and actions "do not represent the Palestinian people," before those statements were deleted.

Abbas condemned the killing of civilians on both sides before meeting U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Amman last week.

Feasibility of negotiations

After the bombing of Gaza's Al-Ahli Arab Baptist Hospital, a four-way summit scheduled for Amman between US President Joe Biden, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah II was canceled.

Abbas condemned the shelling – which left 471 people according to the Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip – and declared three days of mourning and returned to Ramallah from Jordan, but hundreds came out chanting slogans demanding Abbas's departure and the cessation of "security coordination" with Israel, while Palestinian security forces suppressed demonstrations.

Abi al-Aboudi, executive director of the Bisan Center for Research and Development, believes that the Palestinian president "bet on the international community and international legitimacy that it will oblige Israel to withdraw to the 1967 borders and give the Palestinians a state."

"The international community has proven that it does not care about the blood and suffering of the Palestinians, and this is of course the reason for popular anger," Aboudi told AFP.

Before the outbreak of the war, an opinion poll published by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research last September stated that 58% of Palestinians expressed support for "a return to confrontation and armed intifada," compared to 20% who support negotiations and 24% support popular peaceful resistance.

According to the poll, 78% of Palestinians demand the resignation of Abbas, 88, who has been president of the Palestinian Authority for more than 18 years and whose term ended in 2009, but who remains in office without holding elections demanded by Hamas and a large segment of the Palestinian population. Hamas expelled the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah) from the Gaza Strip in 2007, after bloody confrontations between the two sides, and took control of the Gaza Strip.

According to Xavier Guignard, a researcher specializing in Palestinian affairs, the confrontations between Palestinian forces and demonstrators, some of whom waved Hamas flags, indicate that "in the eyes of the Palestinian Authority (the protesters), both in terms of its inaction and in terms of its security coordination, is increasingly identified with Israel's policy, including in the worst of times such as now."

According to the Nuria Institute researcher, "There is indeed condemnation that Abbas was unable to respond to the level of what is happening in Gaza, and this is a clear fact."

On Sunday, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry called for "real international pressure" to stop the ongoing Israeli occupation aggression on Gaza and the West Bank, and to bring humanitarian aid into the besieged enclave.

The ministry said in a statement that it "holds Israel fully and directly responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the West Bank and the destruction in Gaza."

It added that it "views with great seriousness the bombing of Jenin camp at dawn today (Sunday), and considered it a dangerous escalation using warplanes, resulting in Palestinian civilian casualties and terrorizing them, including children and women, and trying to generalize the model of bombing the Gaza Strip to areas in the West Bank."