Nizar Banat’s death highlights brutality of Palestinian Authority

The Guardian reports Killing of the strident Fatah critic has underlined the PA’s complicity with Israel and how far Mahmoud Abbas will go to crush dissent

Nizar Banat knew he was going to die. As he grew bolder calling out corrupt members of Fatah, the party which controls the Palestinian Authority, the death threats mounted. In May, his home near Hebron was attacked by masked gunmen on motorbikes, in an incident which left his children traumatised.

After that, the political activist decided it wasn’t safe to stay home. “He went to his cousin’s house in H2 [an area of Hebron city controlled by the Israeli military] because he hoped Fatah and the PA could not reach him there, but he knew they were coming for him,” said Jihan, Banat’s widow, as she hugged their youngest son in the family’s reception room in the village of Dura. The front of the house is still pockmarked with bullet holes. “He told me: ‘I don’t want to be killed in front of the children.’”

It was early morning on 24 June when Jihan received the news she dreaded. According to his two cousins, who witnessed the abduction, Nizar had been severely beaten but was still alive when he was dragged from the house by 14 men from the Palestinian security forces who were given Israeli permission to enter H2. There was no arrest warrant.