icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

‘Go away, Abbas’: Thousands protest in the West Bank after funeral of critic of Palestinian Authority (VIDEOS)

‘Go away, Abbas’: Thousands protest in the West Bank after funeral of critic of Palestinian Authority (VIDEOS)
The funeral of a prominent critic of the Palestinian Authority (PA), who died after his arrest in the West Bank on Thursday, has turned into a large-scale protest against President Mahmoud Abbas.

Thousands of people attended the funeral of Nizar Banat in Hebron on Friday, many of whom gathered for a protest after the body of the opposition blogger and politician was laid to rest.

They reportedly marched through the streets chanting slogans, including: “Go away, go away, Abbas” and “The people want to overthrow the regime!” The latter chant gained popularity during the so-called Arab Spring in 2011, which saw longtime leaders deposed in Libya, Egypt and several other countries in the region.

Some in the crowd carried Palestinian flags and the green banners of armed group Hamas, which runs Gaza and rivals the PA in the West Bank.

Several hundred Palestinians also gathered after Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, chanting anti-Abbas slogans and accusing the PA of being “Israeli spies.” There was a smaller protest in the West Bank city of Ramallah, too.

Banat was well known for his videos on social media, in which he accused the Palestinian Authority of corruption and unnecessary close ties with Israel. He had called upon the international community to cut financial aid to the State of Palestine over its suppression of free speech, violations of human rights and authoritarian rule. The 44-year-old was planning to run in this year’s Palestinian election, which Abbas postponed in April amid divisions in his own party and a dispute over voting in East Jerusalem.


Palestinian security officials detained Banat at his home in southern Hebron on Thursday, with his relatives later saying the activist was viciously beaten before he was taken away. His death was reported a few hours later. An autopsy indicated he suffered an “unnatural death.”

Also on rt.com Torch-carrying Palestinians protest new Israeli settlement in West Bank (VIDEO)

People started protesting Banat’s death earlier on Friday, with a crowd clashing with PA security forces in Ramallah. Batons and tear gas were reportedly deployed by officers, clad in riot gear.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.