Shatha Hammad, a 32-year-old journalist, mentioned that she was attacked by Palestinian safety companies thrice through the demonstration. “The primary time they took my cellphone and smashed it. The second time we have been stoned by plainclothes police.”
The third time was essentially the most harmful: a tear fuel canister exploded close to her face, and she or he needed to sew it up. “Luckily, it is proper beneath my eyes,” Hamad mentioned. “The outcome may very well be worse.”
That is an instance of how President Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA) responded to protests that lasted greater than two weeks. Protesters have been arrested and crushed, as have been attorneys and journalists.
The demonstrations triggered the demise of Nizar Banat, a Palestinian activist identified for criticizing corruption inside the Palestinian Authority. He was killed when members of the Palestinian safety forces detained him at residence.
Reporter Hamad confirmed her injury left by the grenade:
“In the midst of the night time, 27 law enforcement officials got here in by means of the window,” mentioned his widow, Jihan Banat. “They sprayed pepper spray on his mouth and face. Then they hit him on the pinnacle, legs and chest with metallic rods. They did not even have an arrest warrant.”
The Palestinian authorities expressed condolences to Banat’s household and launched an investigation into the deaths of the activists. However his widow doesn’t imagine that the wrongdoer will likely be caught: “In the long run, the authorities are accountable.”
After the demise of Banat, hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets. The well-known Palestinian opinion ballot professional Khalil Shikaki mentioned that for many individuals, the camel was the final straw: “Earlier than Banat’s demise, President Abbas’s approval ranking was decrease than ever. Now indignant. And frustration could also be larger.”
The dissatisfaction is principally as a result of cancellation of the election, which will likely be held this yr, the primary time in 15 years. Many Palestinians are additionally upset by Abbas’s indifference through the battle between Israel and Hamas earlier this yr. Greater than 250 folks have been killed in Palestine.
“Many Palestinians now not imagine that Abbas is defending their rights and town of Jerusalem,” the opinion ballot professional mentioned. “Many individuals imagine that, in any case, his cooperation with Israel is just too shut, even when Israel bombs the Gaza Strip.”
Because the final battle with Israel escalated, Hamas has grow to be increasingly more fashionable on the expense of President Abbas. Hamas, declared a terrorist group by the European Union and america, is liable for the Gaza Strip.
Abbas, 85, heads the Palestinian Authority (PA), which was established within the Nineties as a part of the peace course of with Israel. Many individuals hope this would be the first step in the direction of a Palestinian state and peace settlement.
However it by no means occurred, and the peace course of stalled. Nevertheless, the Palestinian Authority nonetheless workouts some type of autonomy over elements of the West Financial institution occupied by Israel.
It isn’t Syria beneath the management of President Assad, however we’re shifting on this course increasingly more.
On the similar time, the Abbas authorities is turning into more and more repressive. Cathrine Abuamsha, a lawyer for the human rights group Al-Haq, mentioned: “Human rights violations have been happening for a while, however what we’re seeing now could be an extra escalation.” “The Palestinian Authority is cruelly suppressing residents’ rights. Name for rights and accountability.”
“The regime is a Single present “Abbas dominated by decree and isn’t accountable to anybody. It isn’t but Syria beneath President Assad, however we’re shifting increasingly more on this course. That is very irritating.”
The query is the place the protests will go. “We have now seen previously that individuals’s moods additionally change,” Shikaki mentioned. “However now Abbas’s status has dropped deeply.”
In keeping with human rights group Al-Haq, European nations that financially help the Palestinian territories have a task to play. “The European Union and different nations should put strain on the Palestinian Authority,” Catherine Abumsa mentioned. “As a monetary donor or accomplice, how are you going to permit this to occur?”
On the similar time, reporter Shatha Hammad continued to report. “Even when I’m apprehensive about my security. We was once afraid of the Israeli military, now we’re afraid of our personal safety service. That is sophisticated, however it’s an extra purpose for our work. We have now no selection.”