Written by Naina Mahajan, a grade 6 student
For the past few days, thousands of Palestinians have been swarming the streets, protesting against the president, Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.
The President’s supporters and vast security forces got aggressive with the gathered protesters and tried to disperse the crowd but to no avail.
So, who is Mahmoud Abbas?
Mahmoud Abbas is the 2nd President of the State of Palestine and has been for about 16 years. He is a member of the Fatah political party and has been chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization since 2004.
Why have the Palestinians been protesting?
The Palestinians took to the streets in protest after the death of an activist, one of the Palestinian Authority’s most fierce critics, Nizar Banat. The entire episode started with his arrest while he was staying at his relative’s residence, which eventually led to him losing conciousness during the tussle, and when the security forces took him to the hospital, he was declared dead on arrival. According to his family, he was beaten severely before being taken away by security.
Why was Banat arrested?
In May, Banat told European countries to stop providing monetary aid to the Palestinian
the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The Palestinians view this monetary aid as what is keeping the Israeli-Palestinian peace process going. This open suggestion by Banat to stop the aid could well be the reason why the Palestinian security forces attacked his house in the city of Dura. Due to this, he was forced to go live with some relatives in Hebron, a city around thirty kilometers to the south of Jerusalem. His death for speaking his mind has led to a huge stirring amongst Palestinians.
Will his death go in vain? Will his family ever find justice? Will Banat’s soul ever rest in peace? These are the questions that are running through everyone’s minds at this point. We can only hope that the answers will come soon.
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