Thousands of protesters in several cities in the West Bank, including Ramallah and Hebron, held protests on Saturday condemning the Palestinian Authority’s recent assassination of video blogger and activist Nizar Banat earlier this week, and calling for the resignation of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Abbas was appointed President by the Israeli Occupation Forces, which have ruled the West Bank and Gaza under martial law since 1967. Though he had previously been elected, his appointment in 2006 followed an election in which the majority of Palestinians voted in favor of the Hamas party, which was resisting the Israeli occupation, rather than Abbas’ Fateh party, which was facilitating the Israeli occupation.
There has not been an election in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian Territories since 2006.
At Saturday’s protest, local sources report that Palestinian Authority (PA) police, many of whom were dressed as plainclothes, infiltrated the protests and began attacking journalists and protesters without warning or provocation.
Several were injured, including journalists Najlaa Zaitoun, Shatha Hammad, Saja Alami, Faiha’a Khanfar, who were hit in their faces by batons and stones used as weapons by the Palestinian Authority police.
Also injured was Fadia Al Barghouti, a candidate, who was hit by a tear gas grenade in her face. Fadia was running for the parliament in the elections that were supposed to be held in May before they were canceled by Mahmoud Abbas.
The Palestinian police arrested several protesters after assaulting them.
The protesters challenged the PA’s assassination of Nizar Banat earlier this week. They also chanted slogans calling for Mahmoud Abbas to leave office.
The PA’s Preventative Security Service broke into the house of Banat on Thursday and arrested him, beating him severely in the process. He died later that night while in custody, sparking angry protests – especially when an autopsy found that he did, indeed die from the beating he was subjected to by the PA Security Forces.
(Source / 27.06.2021)