- Title: Palestinian forces clash with protesters following death of Abbas critic
- Date: 26th June 2021
- Summary: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (JUNE 26, 2021) (REUTERS) PALESTINIAN PROTESTERS RUNNING AS PALESTINIAN FORCES FIRING STUN GRENADES AND TEAR GAS TO DISPERSE THEM FORCES WEARING RIOT POLICE GEAR FIRING STUN GRENADES VARIOUS OF PALESTINIAN FORCES FIRING TOWARD PROTESTERS PALESTINIANS HURLING STONES FORCES WEARING RIOT POLICE GEAR /AUDIO: PALESTINIANS CHANTING IN (Arabic): "The people want the fall of the regime." ABBAS SUPPORTERS HURLING STONES TOWARD PROTESTERS PROTESTERS THROWING STONES VARIOUS OF FORCES FIRING STUN GRENADES, PROTESTERS RUNNING AWAY FORCES WEARING CIVILIAN CLOTHES, DETAINING A PROTESTER FORCES BLOCKING ROAD MORE OF CLASHES ABBAS SUPPORTERS BEATING A MAN AND TAKING HIM AWAY PEOPLE SUPPORT PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD ABBAS THROWING STONES TOWARD PROTESTERS PALESTINIAN FORCES VARIOUS OF SCUFFLES BETWEEN PROTESTERS AND ABBAS SUPPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PROTESTER, TALA SHBITA, SAYING: "We are not requesting things that are not written in the constitution, we are not calling for a state on Mars, we want a Palestine that protects the rights of its people. Our right to protest is a guaranteed right, our right to live is also guaranteed, the right to have public security is also in the constitution, if we won't have our rights we don't need the constitution and there is no need for a Palestinian state." PALESTINIAN FLAGS VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS CHANTING SLOGANS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PROTESTER, ESMAT MANSOUR, SAYING: "This protest is a continuation of the protests after the assassination of the martyr Nizar Banat, who was killed by the Palestinian forces. We want an investigative committee not led by a minister who is in a government that is accused of killing him. Also, the killing of Banat is the tip of the iceberg, it hides a mountain of corruption and the absence of elected organizations. We want a total political reform." WOMAN CARRYING A BANNER READING IN (Arabic): "I PROMISE IF ONE PROTEST COMES OUT AGAINST ME, I WILL NOT ALLOW IT TO CONTINUE BECAUSE I WILL LEAVE-MAHMOUD ABBAS 2011- THEN LEAVE" PROTESTERS CHANTING IN (Arabic): "LEAVE LEAVE LEAVE" PEOPLE CARRYING PICTURES OF NIZAR BANAT PROTESTERS MARCHING TOWARD THE PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT'S COMPOUND
- Embargoed: 10th July 2021 21:04
- Keywords: Nizar Banat Palestinian forces Palestinians protests scuffles
- Location: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK
- City: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Middle East
- Reuters ID: LVA001EJ1FSQV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Saturday (June 26) deployed security forces to confront protesters who took to the streets of Ramallah in the West Bank after one of President Mahmoud Abbas's biggest critics died in custody.
Nizar Banat had been arrested by PA forces who broke into a relative's house where he was staying in the early hours of Thursday and hit him repeatedly with a metal rod before arresting him, according to Banat's family.
Banat's death has sparked three days of protests in the occupied West Bank and calls from the international community for an inquiry.
On Saturday, Palestinian security officers were sent to the scene for the first time, Reuters video showed.
The officers, some wearing riot gear, some in plain clothes, clashed with protesters. There were no official figures on how many people were arrested or injured.
Witnesses said officers fired tear gas and used clubs to hit unarmed protesters and also journalists.
The spokesman for the PA security services, Talal Dweikat, said the committee investigating Banat's death had begun its work and urged people to wait for the results. He did not comment on Saturday's violence.
Banat, 43, was a social activist who had accused Abbas's PA of corruption, including over a short-lived COVID-19 vaccine exchange with Israel this month and Abbas's postponement of a long-delayed election in May.
Banat had registered as a parliamentary candidate for that contest.
The crowd marched through streets waving Palestinian flags and pictures of Banat and calling for an end to Abbas's 16-year rule.
Human rights groups say Abbas regularly arrests critics. A Human Rights Watch official said Banat's arrest was "no anomaly".
Abbas and the PA, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank, reject accusations they are corrupt and that they arrest people for their political views.
(Production: Roleen Tafakji, Mohammed Abu Ganeyeh, Ali Sawafta)
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