Family of Palestinian Activist Blames Prime Minister Shtayyeh for His Death

Nizar Banat’s family says Palestinian Authority forces broke into his house last week and hit him repeatedly with a metal rod before arresting him

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Palestinians in Ramallah protesting the death of Nizar Banat on Sunday.
Palestinians in Ramallah protesting the death of Nizar Banat on Sunday.Credit: Nasser Nasser / AP
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

The family of Palestinian activist Nizar Banat, who died while in Palestinian Authority custody last week, said on Monday that they hold Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh responsible for his death.

Banat was one of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's most prominent critics. He died after being arrested by Palestinian security forces in the West Bank.

Centrifuges and Delta Blues: LISTEN to Zvi Bar'el and Amos Harel

Banat’s relatives also expressed a complete lack of trust in the committee set up by the Palestinian Authority to investigate the circumstances leading to the activist's death, demanding an independent inquiry. Shtayyeh has previously said that those responsible for Banat’s death would be prosecuted.

Speaking at a press conference, Banat’s father, Khalil, said that as far as the family was concerned, no arrests had been made yet. The father claimed that Palestinian security forces acted as a criminal organization, attempting to hide evidence as well as Banat’s body.

Furthermore, Khalil argued that the commander of the Palestinian security forces in Hebron, Ziad Hab-Arih, his wife and the security forces who arrested Banat are responsible for his death.

Banat’s family said Palestinian Authority forces broke into his house in the city in the early hours of Thursday last week and hit him repeatedly with a metal rod before arresting him.

Human rights groups said that his autopsy showed that he suffocated from blood in his lungs after being beaten by security forces. One of the doctors who took part in the autopsy also revealed that Banat suffered injuries to all parts of his body. The doctor said the findings raised suspicion of criminal wrongdoing.

On Friday, thousands demonstrated against President Abbas and the PA in Hebron and Ramallah, with demonstrators calling for Abbas to resign.

Banat, a former member of the Fatah movement, has been repeatedly arrested by the Palestinian Authority for his sharp criticism of its leadership in Facebook posts and videos. He accused them of corruption, as well as abandoning and profiteering off of Palestinian national interests in return for personal benefit and wealth.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott