Hanan Ashrawi: ‘Palestine presidency does not tolerate or accept criticism’

Former PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi (Abbas Momani - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  July 12, 2021

Former member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Dr Hanan Ashrawi has stated that the Palestinian presidency does not tolerate or accept criticism despite all its powers.

In an interview with London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper, Ashrawi described the prevailing political discourse in Palestine as “negative”, without a view for the future or a path towards salvation.

“A responsible leadership should listen and analyze well in order to provide appropriate solutions,” she asserts, calling on the Palestinian political system to meet with all parties and listen to them, taking steps on the ground to get out of the current crisis. Ashrawi warns that otherwise: “It would lead the Palestinians to the abyss.”

A state of resentment, as well as popular, factional, and international discontent, has been prevailing across the West Bank towards the Palestinian Authority (PA) following the assassination of Palestinian political opponent Nizar Banat.

Rallies, demonstrations, and mass protests were organized in several cities in the West Bank, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and the departure of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as pressing to hold presidential elections.

Ashrawi predicted that some “parties” would take advantage of the new Palestinian image as a repressive regime that does not respect human rights, criticizing the Palestinians and diminishing the value of their cause.

“I can no longer watch elderly people and women being assaulted in front of their children by Palestinian security forces again,” Ashrawi explains.

“We are going through a dangerous phase with regards to reduced freedoms and public rights including terminating the Palestinian Legislative Council’s mandate by a presidential decree, followed by a long series of decrees related to the judiciary to control it, not to mention attempts to weaken the Palestinian civil society, reinforced by the postponement of the legislative elections,” Ashrawi concluded.