Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip are concerned about the effects of the upheaval in the Arab world, as Facebook messages call on Gaza residents to demonstrate against Hamas rule on Friday.
Several thousand people have joined the Facebook group calling for a protest against Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip. Another Facebook group is calling for protests against the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Far fewer people have expressed interest in that page, but Palestinian leaders in the West Bank also recognize that the protests in Tunisia and Egypt could spill over into Palestinian territory.
In what seems to be an effort to hold off possible demonstrations, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said the Palestinian Authority will hold municipal elections in the near future, and senior Fatah officials said they are considering general elections as well.
In Gaza City, Hamas police used force earlier this week to disperse a small rally showing solidarity with Egyptian protesters. Police officers dressed in civilian clothing arrested six women and detained some 20 others, according to Human Rights Watch.
For an interactive map of the state of protest in different North African and Middle Eastern nations, go here.