Nizar Banat lambastes the PA in a Facebook video
Nizar Banat lambastes the PA in a Facebook video
Photo: Screenshot
Nizar Banat lambastes the PA in a Facebook video

Critic of Palestinian Authority dies during arrest

Hebron governorate says Nizar Banat died after his 'health deteriorated' when Palestinian forces went to arrest him Thursday; he called on West to cut off aid to PA because of its 'authoritarianism and human rights violations'

Associated Press |
Published: 06.24.21, 10:11
An outspoken critic of the Palestinian Authority who had intended to run in parliamentary elections before they were cancelled earlier this year died during his arrest by PA forces early Thursday, officials said.
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  • Nizar Banat was a harsh critic of the PA, which governs parts of the West Bank, and had called on Western nations to cut off aid to it because of its growing authoritarianism and human rights violations.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Nizar Banat lambastes the PA in a Facebook video
    Nizar Banat lambastes the PA in a Facebook video
    Nizar Banat lambastes the PA in a Facebook video
    (Photo: Screenshot)
    In a brief statement, the Hebron governorate said his "health deteriorated" when Palestinian forces went to arrest him early Thursday. It said he was taken to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
    In early May, gunmen fired bullets, stun grenades and tear gas at his home near the West Bank city of Hebron, where his wife was inside with their children.
    He blamed the attack on President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, which dominates the security forces, saying only they would have access to tear gas and stun grenades.
    "The Europeans need to know that they are indirectly funding this organization," he told The Associated Press in May in an interview at a home where he was hiding out. "They fire their guns into the air at Fatah celebrations, they fire their guns in the air when Fatah leaders fight each other and they fire their guns at people who oppose Fatah."
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    אבו מאזן במועצת האו"ם
    אבו מאזן במועצת האו"ם
    President Mahmud Abbas in the UN General Assembly, 2020
    (Photo: Reuters)
    He also accused prominent Fatah supporters of waging an incitement campaign against him on social media in which they accused him of collaborating with Israel, a serious allegation that in the Palestinian territories amounts to treason. He denied the accusation.
    Earlier this week, Palestinian security forces detained a prominent activist and held him overnight after he unleashed a wave of criticism at the PA on Facebook. Issa Amro is an outspoken critic of both Israel and the PA, and has been detained by both in the past.
    A recent poll showed plummeting support for Abbas, who cancelled the first elections in 15 years in April when it looked like his fractured Fatah party would suffer another humiliating defeat to Hamas, the Islamic militant group ruling Gaza.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Issa Amro
    Issa Amro
    Issa Amro
    (Photo: AP)
    Hamas drove out forces loyal to Abbas when it seized power in Gaza in 2007, and he was mostly sidelined during last month's 11-day Gaza war.
    Western nations continue to view Abbas as a key partner in the long-moribund peace process, and the European Union has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in direct aid to the PA over the years.
    Earlier this week, the EU signed an agreement to provide $425 million in loans to the PA and Palestinian banks to help them cope with an economic crisis exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

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