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Palestian Authority Massacres Political Opponent



Palestinian Authority Chairman Mr. Abu Mazen’s security massacre of the political opponent at his arrest led to the sizable demonstration of angry Arabs on Thursday.

Demonstrators held posters of Mr. Nizar Banat as they came under tear gas fire by dozens of PA forces in riot gear trying to prevent the group from reaching Chairman Mr. Abu Mazen’s headquarters, in the centre of the West Bank city of Ramallah on Thursday.

According to Banat’s relatives, security forces severely beat him during his arrest overnight in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Mr. Banat’s family informed media that PA security forces broke into their house in the middle of the night, pulled Banat from his bed and started to beat him.

They hit him on his head with iron bars, which they had used to open the windows, Mr. Banat’s cousin, Mr. Hussein, 21, said. They beat him continuously for eight minutes, he added.

Another family member who witnessed the arrest said Mr. Banat was alive when he was taken away and had screamed as he was beaten.

The PA-appointed governor of the city, Mr. Jibrin Al-Bakri, had explained Banat suddenly got sick at his arrest and his health deteriorated.


U.N. demands for an inquiry

Following U.N. demands for an inquiry into Banat’s death, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, an Abbas appointee, ordered the formation of an investigation committee that he said would include the PA’s Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR).

But in an apparent sign of public distrust in the PA’s inquiry, ICHR director general Ammar Dwaik later said ICHR would not be involved in the PA investigation committee.

ICHR is involved in the autopsy process, and will issue its own report with the (independent rights group) Al-Haq,” Dwaik wrote on Facebook. Al-Haq said on Twitter that it and ICHR had appointed, with the blessing of Banat’s family, a doctor to carry out an official PA autopsy.

Mr. Abu Mazen regularly arrests his critics, human rights groups say, and has ruled the PA by decree for well over a decade.


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