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InvestmentsPalestinian officers go on trial over death of Abbas critic By Reuters

Palestinian officers go on trial over death of Abbas critic By Reuters

© Reuters. Palestinian demonstrators attend an anti-Palestinian Authority protest, forty days after the death of Nizar Banat, a critic of the Palestinian Authority, in Ramallah within the Israeli-occupied West Bank August 2, 2021 REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

By Ali Sawafta and Zainah El-Haroun

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – A Palestinian navy courtroom on Monday started the trial of 14 safety officers charged with beating to death a distinguished critic of President Mahmoud Abbas, in a case that has drawn widespread protests and requires his resignation.

Nizar Banat’s death following his arrest on June 24 has heightened https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/criticism-palestinian-security-forces-raises-pressure-abbas-2021-06-30 criticism of Abbas’ Palestinian Authority and his safety forces, who human rights teams say usually arrest critics within the occupied West Bank. Abbas denies the fees.

An post-mortem https://www.reuters.com/breakingviews/critic-abbas-dies-palestinian-custody-un-demands-investigation-2021-06-24 carried out the day Banat died confirmed he was struck within the head and over the physique with steel rods, resulting in his death. The PA, which has restricted self-rule within the West Bank, has vowed to carry these accountable to account.

Appearing in Monday’s courtroom session within the West Bank metropolis of Ramallah, the indicted officers pleaded not responsible as prosecutors learn out a cost sheet together with battery, abuse of energy and violation of navy directions.

But Banat’s household have demanded that senior Palestinian officers be held to account over his death, accusing Abbas and his prime minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, of deflecting blame.

“This is an incomplete and partial court case, and everyone in it is a scapegoat, until the interior minister, the head of the Preventive Security Services and his deputy are behind bars,” Banat’s brother, Ghassan, stated outdoors the courthouse.

Security Services spokesman Talal Dweikat stated on Sept. 5 that an inner inquiry discovered its deputy director for the town of Hebron, the place Banat was arrested, was not concerned in his death. The indicted officers’ lawyer didn’t present remark.

With over 100,000 followers on Facebook (NASDAQ:), Banat usually accused the PA of corruption and criticised Abbas’s postponement of a long-delayed election in May. Banat had registered as a parliamentary candidate for that contest.

Pressure has mounted on Abbas, 85, since Banat’s death, and his approval ranking has additional plummeted.

Some 78% need Abbas to resign, a September ballot by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research discovered, a ten p.c improve from a ballot the group launched three months earlier, earlier than Banat’s death.

The subsequent listening to for the 14 officers is ready to happen on Oct. 4.

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