Thousands of Palestinian mourners called for a change of government on Friday when they marched in Hebron for the funeral of one of President Mahmoud Abbas’s most prominent critics who died after being arrested by security forces.
Thousands of people accompanied Nizar Banat Coffins pass through the streets of the city on the west bank of the Jordan River, many saying “We want the government to collapse” and “Go away Abbas.”
Some waved the Palestinian flag, while others waved the flag of Hamas, Abbas’s Muslim rival in Gaza. Protesters also gathered outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Ramallah and East Jerusalem.
Banat’s family said Palestinian Authority (PA) troops invaded his home in the city early Thursday and repeatedly beat him with a metal rod before arresting him.
He hit his head, said the PA’s Independent Human Rights Commission after performing an autopsy.
Abbas’ Palestinian Authority He said he would investigate, but did not comment on the accusation. Hebron governor Gibrin Albacri said Banat died when his health “deteriorated” during his arrest.
Many Palestinians face financial difficulties and complain of widespread corruption. He has ruled PA by law for over a decade.
In issuing the first statement after Banat’s death, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), chaired by Abbas, said the PA’s investigation was fair and the results would be announced as soon as possible.
However, the PLO called on the Palestinians, “especially the martyr’s family, Nizari, to take responsibility for the state, and everyone politicized the matter from a national, humanitarian, and legal trajectory. I won’t allow you to distract. “
Banat, 43, was a social activist who accused Abbas’s PA of corruption, including a short COVID-19 vaccine exchange with Israel this month and a postponement of a long-term postponement election in May.
Human rights groups say Abbas regularly arrests critics. A Human Rights Watch official said Banat’s arrest was “not unusual.” Abbas denies the accusation.
Banat was registered as a parliamentary candidate for the contest.
The United States, the United Nations, and the European Union have called on the PA to conduct a “transparent” investigation into Banat’s death.
Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, urged Palestinians to stand up and “finally end a widespread violation of (PA) national freedom and rights.”