The sight was unusual and the purpose was even more bizarre. A large contingent of the Palestinian police force surrounded the office of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), which has not been in session for years. Palestinian police showed up in the afternoon of Dec. 2 and have been stationed outside all its entrances and exits since.
Jehad Harb, a researcher at the PLC, told Al-Monitor that when he asked the police officers about their presence, they told him that President Mahmoud Abbas instructed them to prevent PLC Secretary-General Ibrahim Khreisheh from reaching his office. The Palestinian media reported that Khreisheh was fired from his position by Abbas, allegedly over his public support for the head of the civil servants union, Bassam Zakarneh. Khreisheh is a member of Abbas’ Fatah revolutionary PLC. Zakraneh and his deputy, Muin Ensawi, were arrested on Nov. 6 for leading an "illegal" union. Both were released on Nov. 13, but the union has been declared illegal and the legitimacy of the union is now to be evaluated in a Palestinian court.