Hostile Palestinian groups clashed in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday, the fourth day of protests. The death of Nizal Banat, An outspoken critic of the Palestinian Authority (PA), who died in Palestinian Authority custody.
Nizar Banat, a 43-year-old activist from Hebron famous for social media videos condemning corruption within the Palestinian Authority, died Thursday after security forces stormed his home and arrested him violently.
Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker reported from Ramallah that fighting broke out among the protesters on Sunday, and 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” against 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.”
On Sunday, Banat’s hometown of Hebron and Bethlehem both staged new protests against Banat’s death in the occupied West Bank.
Palestinian security forces in riot gear fired tear gas and stun grenades at protesters in Bethlehem, and many fled for cover.
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.
After the news broke on Thursday, protesters set fire to block the streets of the city centre and clashed with riot police in Ramallah. On Friday, Palestinians also chanted against the Palestinian Authority at the funeral of Banat in Hebron and after Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Protesters Clashes with Palestinian security forces Hundreds of opposition pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Ramallah on Saturday tried to march to Abbas’s office compound.
Banat was registered as a candidate in the Palestinian parliamentary election, which was originally scheduled to be held in May until Abbas Postpone them 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.
Shawan Jabareen, the head of the human rights organization Al Haq, said that Sunday’s confrontation between Palestinian opponents on the streets was a “disgrace” — especially when many Palestinians set aside their differences to unite in protest against Israeli opposition. 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.”
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 says.
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 Palestinian Authority government led by Fatah.