Middle East Monitor / July 24, 2021
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has apologised for the murder of Palestinian activist Nizar Banat and has claimed that he was killed during a law enforcement operation, Media Line reported.
During an interview with PA Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh, he stated: “I would like to pay my condolences and respects to his [Nizar Banat’s] family and apologise to them for what happened. It was a sad and unfortunate accident.”
He explained the killing by claiming that it was a mistake: “Maybe a mistake occurred during the action of law enforcement. Even if he was demanded by law or wanted to appear for justice, there is nothing to justify the matter whatsoever.”
Al-Sheikh offered his apologies on behalf of PA President Mahmoud Abbas: “I, in the name of President Abu Mazen and the Palestinian Authority, from the first day gave our apologies for this matter and we consider it a tragedy.”
He added: “What happened can’t ever be acceptable, even in times of lawlessness, but this might happen in any country in the world. A mistake like this can happen in America, in France, in any other country in the world.”
Al-Sheikh concluded: “I repeat and say, it is a tragic and unfortunate incident. We apologise for what happened and wish to learn lessons from it.”
Banat was killed during a house raid in the West Bank city of Hebron. His death was internationally condemned, and the PA was pressured to punish the perpetrators.
Palestinians in the occupied West Bank have been organising demonstrations and calling for the PA government to resign and send the perpetrators to justice.
PA security forces have violently cracked down on demonstrations organised to condemn the murder of Banat. Tens of human rights defenders were wounded and detained during the demonstrations.