Critic’s death highlights Palestinian Authority authoritarianism – .

Critic’s death highlights Palestinian Authority authoritarianism – .

Some Palestinians said the authority, working from an old security-focused Middle East textbook, faced a new generation of educated and social media savvy Palestinians.

“Today we are not in the 80s or 90s,” said Shawan Jabarin, director of Al Haq, a Palestinian human rights organization. “With new media, you can’t hide your actions. “

The United States, which has funded, trained and equipped Palestinian security forces over the years, said it was “deeply troubled” by Mr. Banat’s death, adding in a statement: “We have serious concerns about the Palestinian Authority restrictions on the exercise of Palestinian freedom of expression and harassment of activists and civil society organizations.

US security assistance, interrupted under the Trump administration, resumed in April. A spokeswoman for the United States Embassy said the aid was intended “to help develop credible institutions of governance” and to strengthen Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation.

The anti-authority protests, which have continued this week, have pressured Mr. Abbas to respond to Mr. Banat’s death, but few Palestinians expect major changes to come.

“What they have been doing in recent days has scared people and intimidated them,” said Shatha Hammad, 32, a Palestinian journalist for the Middle East Eye news site who was injured and her cell phone smashed. during a demonstration.

Security forces spokesman General Dweikat denied that plainclothes officers attacked demonstrators, insisting the attackers were just civilian counter-demonstrators who feared “a huge attack on the political system. “. He denied knowing about cell phone confiscations or arrests for Facebook posts.


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