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Hostile groups in Palestine clash over death of protest activist | International News Occupied West Bank News

Hostile Palestinian groups clashed in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday. The protest has entered its fourth day to protest the death of Nizar Banat, who was the Palestinian Authority (PA). ) An outspoken critic, he died in Palestinian Authority custody.

Nizar Banat, a 43-year-old activist from Hebron, known for his social media videos condemning corruption within the Palestinian Authority, stormed into his home and violently attacked him in security forces on Thursday He died after arrest.

Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker reported from Ramallah that fighting broke out among the protesters on Sunday. The protesters demanded that the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas step down. An opposition group demonstrated in support of the Palestinian Authority and Fatah, and Abbas’s party dominates the Palestinian Authority.

“There is a small group of about 100 people chanting against the Palestinian Authority,” Dekker said.

“You have another group of people on the street…they are pro-Fatah, ruling elite parties, come to join them, and then there is a confrontation,” Dekker said.

Al Jazeera’s Dekker said there was a “coordinated campaign” with the media covering Sunday’s protests.

“We were six [people], I can only say that they are thugs and demand to see our camera. We were not filming at the time. They actually force us to focus on our SMG trucks,” she said.

“The camera of another colleague and friend was smashed. This has been happening these days.”

Palestinian supporters of President Mahmoud Abbas staged counter-demonstrations, others protested against the death of human rights activist Nizar Banat [Abbas Momani/AFP]

On Sunday, new protests against Banat’s death also took place in his hometown of Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

Pathologist Samir Abu Zarzour said that according to the initial autopsy, Banat suffered injuries to his head, chest, neck, legs and hands, from the time he was arrested to his death. Less than an hour.

Banat’s family said that security forces used pepper spray on him, beat him severely and dragged him away in a car.

The Palestinian Authority has announced that it has begun an investigation into Banat’s death, but it has not calmed the anger on the streets.

Banat has registered as a candidate for the Palestinian parliamentary election, which was originally scheduled to be held in May until Abbas postponed the election indefinitely.

Mkhaimar Abusada, an associate professor of political science at Al-Azhar University in Gaza, told Al Jazeera that Abbas and the internationally supported Palestinian Authority are facing growing Palestinian opposition to corruption and authoritarianism.

“It is unprecedented to see these large numbers of Palestinian protesters protesting against the Palestinian Authority and directly chanting President Abbas’s request for his removal and resignation,” he said.

‘a shame’

Shawan Jabareen, the director of the human rights organization Al Haq, said that the confrontation between Palestinian opponents that took place on the streets on Sunday was a “shame”—especially as many Palestinians set aside their differences to unite in protest against Israeli After 11 days of bombing in the Gaza Strip, in May, the Palestinians were forcibly deported in occupied East Jerusalem.

“At this moment you see the Palestinians split again,” he told Al Jazeera.

“To be honest, I am worried about the people here.”

A Palestinian holding a poster depicting the human rights activist Nizar Banat during a protest in his hometown of Hebron in the occupied West Bank [Mosab Shawer/AFP]

Jabalin said many of the plainclothes men who attacked reporters on Sunday were members of the security forces.

“They are not civilians. They are security personnel,” Jabalin said.

Fadi Quran, a senior activist for the militant group Avaaz, participated in Sunday’s protests and said that Palestinian Authority “mobs” attacked protesters and journalists at the rally and sexually harassed women.

“What happened is extremely dangerous and painful. It’s all because they fear that the public will mobilize against Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. They are constantly cooperating with the occupation and oppressing the Palestinian people,” he said.

The Palestinian Authority and Israel coordinate security and civil matters.

“One should not treat Israel and the Palestinian Authority as separate entities. The Palestinian Authority as an institution is a subcontractor of occupation,” the Quran said.

At the same time, Nasri Abu Jaish, the Palestinian Authority’s Minister of Labor and a representative of the People’s Party government, resigned on Sunday, a member of the party said.

The left-wing Palestinian People’s Party member Issam Abu Bakr said that due to “lack of respect for the law and public freedom,” the left-wing Palestinian People’s Party withdrew from the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority government.

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