Palestinians protest, call for justice for murdered activist Nizar Banat

Protesters take part in a demonstration in Ramallah calling for Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to quit, in June (Abbas Momani - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  August 3, 2021

Palestinians held mass protests in the centre of the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah yesterday, condemning the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s murder of activist Nizar Banat and calling for his murderers to be brought to justice.

Forty days after Banat was killed, demonstrators gathered and raised placards reading: “Abbas, listen to us, dissolve the PA and leave us.”

The protesters also condemned the continuous security cooperation between the PA and Israel for the sake of “chasing and liquidating” member of the Palestinian resistance.

At the same time, they hailed the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood for their persistence and resilience despite the heavy Israeli pressure on them to leave their homes.

Hamas official Hussein Abu Kwaik said, “Nizar Banat was oppressed and murdered” because he defended Palestinians, now all Palestinians are demanding justice for him.

“Nizar Banat is the man of word and revolution,” Abu Kwaik said. “He sacrificed his time, effort, blood and soul for the sake of achieving rights. They murdered him because they do not want Palestinians to live in freedom or have a dignified life. They want the people as a herd.”

He called on the PA to carry out elections as soon as possible, stressing that this is the only way out of the ongoing political, social and economic deadlock.

Banat was killed on 24 June. He had previously been a candidate for the Palestinian Legislative Council election which should have been held early this year. The election was cancelled by PA President Mahmoud Abbas. He was an outspoken critic of the PA, Fatah and the PLO, all of which are headed by Abbas. He exposed many cases of corruption linked to them. The latest example was the PA-Israeli deal to exchange soon-to-expire Israeli COVID-19 vaccines for newly-produced vaccines intended for the West Bank. The deal was cancelled after it was exposed.