06/25/2021, 09.24
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Palestinians anger at PA for the death of activist Nizar Banat

Hundreds of people took to the streets accusing Abu Mazen and the leaders of the Palestinian National Authority. The activist, who died from the beatings he suffered, was one of the most critical personalities of the local leadership. Last month his house was riddled with 60 bullets. Hamas also blames Abbas.



Ramallah (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Hundreds of people took to the streets marching towards the house of the president of the Palestinian National Authority Abu Mazen and the movement's headquarters, to protest the death of activist Nizar Banat. The man died yesterday after being taken from his home in Dura, near Hebron, during a raid by Palestinian security forces. As family members report, he allegedly suffered beatings and violence during the operation. Banat was among the most critical personalities of the local leadership and had already been arrested several times in the past for crimes of thought and opinion.

Protesters chanted slogans and chants, including "The people want the downfall of the regime" and "Abbas, you are not one of us, take your dogs and leave." The accusations directed at Abu Mazen and his Fatah party are further proof of the collapse in the popularity of the movement. The Authority is increasingly seen as a repressive government of critical voices and unable to sustain the confrontation with opponents: the cancellation of the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for May and July 2021 are, for many, the clearest and most obvious proof of this. authoritarian drift.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, also intervened in the matter, pointing the finger at Abbas who is "fully responsible for the repercussions" of the death of Barat, who was a candidate for parliamentarians with the Freedom and Dignity list. After the postponement of the electoral round, he had been among the promoters and signatories of an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights calling for an end to funding for the PNA.

According to local sources, a team of security forces broke in at 3.30 am on June 24, breaking down the door with a bomb and waking Banat with pepper spray on his face at close range. Then they reportedly beat him with wooden sticks and strip him naked, loading him into a vehicle that drove away in a hurry. The government hospital in Hebron declared his death, but the suspicion is that he died from the serious injuries sustained in the beating he suffered inside a service center. He recently revealed that he had been the victim of Palestinian intelligence threats and in May gunmen opened fire on his home, riddling it with at least 60 rounds while the family was present.

Banat, 43, had been arrested several times by the Palestinian Security Forces in recent years. On social media, he relaunched criticism of government management and attacked individuals accused of corruption, urging Western nations to cut funding to the PNA. In recent days, the security forces had also arrested Issa Amro, who was also critical of the Palestinian leaders. "I feel that my life - he said - is in danger like that of Nizar Banat".

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