Photo Credit: Flash90
PA Protesters face-off with PA Police in Ramallah. June 24, 2021

The Palestinian Authority late Saturday night arrested more than 20 political activists who demanded that those responsible for the killing of Nizar Banat, the PA’s harsh critic, on June 24.

That morning, 20 Palestinian Authority security henchmen stormed Banat’s Hebron home, beat him up in front of his wife—who was holding their baby—and his children, and took him alive to prison. By 8 AM, the news of his death—in a Hebron hospital—was announced.


According to Ha’aretz correspondent in the PA Amira Hass (דיכוי המחאה נמשך: הרשות הפלסטינית עצרה יותר מעשרים פעילים פוליטיים), the activists were about to hold a protest vigil on Saturday evening in Manara Square in Ramallah, and announced it to the district police on Wednesday, as required. At the designated time, police officers diverted the traffic in the square to other streets and arrested the activists even before their vigil had begun. According to the NGO Lawyers for Justice, 23 protesters were arrested, including two women. Most of the detainees are 60 years old and older.

Three detainees, including a woman, were beaten during the arrest and one of them was taken to the hospital for treatment, their families reported. The detainee who was hospitalized is Maher al-Ahras, who a year ago went on a 100-day hunger strike in protest of his administrative detention in Israel. Many of the other detainees had also been imprisoned in Israel.

According to Hass, when the detainees were brought to the detention center in al-Bira, they were allowed to talk briefly with their families and announced that they were going on a hunger strike until their release.

PA activist Nizar Banat, Jun 24, 2021. / YouTube screenshot

Banat was renowned for his criticism of the PA leadership, was arrested a few times by Abbas’s security forces. Muhannad Karajah from Lawyers for Justice told the Middle East Eye that he had received a call from Banat and that the activist complained that he was threatened by PA Intelligence to stop criticizing the boss, or else.


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