Palestinians attend funeral for PA critic Nizar Banat

Thousands of Palestinians attend funeral for PA critic Nizar Banat in Hebron
2 min read
25 June, 2021
Nizar Banat’s funeral in Hebron was attended by a crowd chanting 'your blood won’t be in vain' and calling for an investigation into his death.  
Palestinians attended Nizar Banat's funeral on Friday [Getty]

A well-known critic of the Palestinian Authority's leadership who died while in custody was buried on Friday, as thousands of Palestinians took to streets to mark his funeral and display anger at authorities in the West Bank.

Nizar Banat’s funeral, held in the West Bank city of Hebron, was attended by a crowd chanting "your blood won’t be in vain" and calling for an investigation into his death. 

The 43-year-old Palestinian activist was detained overnight on Thursday after security forces stormed his house. His family have alleged that he was badly beaten during the raid.

The protests in Hebron were echoed in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, where demonstrators called on PA President Mahmoud Abbas to resign.

Hebron governor Jibrin al-Bakri did not offer a reason for Banat's arrest but said that during his detention his health had deteriorated.

Banat was known for calling out against corruption in the PA. He was a candidate in Palestinian parliamentary elections, which had been set for May before being postponed indefinitely.

Two months ago, he claimed his house had been shot at by unknown attackers.

Banat’s wife and children attended the service to bid him farewell.

Banat and another candidate from the Freedom and Dignity List, Amjad Shehab, had written a letter to the European Union requesting that they stop financing the PA until a date for the elections had been set.

The EU, one of the biggest donors to the PA, said it was "shocked and saddened" by Banat’s death and called for a "full, independent and transparent investigation".

Palestinian security forces used force to disperse demonstrators protesting against President Abbas in Ramallah, which resulted in several injuries.

At least seven Palestinians were detained by PA security forces.