Palestinian police arrested a lawyer and three activists Sunday morning in the West Bank amid ongoing protests against the Palestinian Authority over the death of activist Nizar Banat.
Muhannad Karajah, the head of the Lawyers for Justice group and a lawyer for the Banat family, was arrested in front of the Ramallah Court Building. He was detained alongside activists Jihad Abdo, Salem Qatash, and Izzeddine Zaoul.
"[Atty Muhannad] Karajah said Banat had been threatened with arrest before by Palestinian officials
but that he was motivated to keep up his criticism,
in campaigns and on social media, of a government
that he saw as corrupt and ineffective….
— Marian Houk (@Marianhouk) June 24, 2021
The arrests took place before a scheduled sit-in outside the court, in protest over the arrest of activist Ghassan Al-Saadi and Muhammad Fararja, both arrested by Palestinian security services on Saturday evening.
Journalists who were at the scene to cover the sit-in were told to leave the premises within minutes by the Palestinian authorities.
Daoud Darawi, a member of the Bar Association, said the syndicate will escalate if Karajah is not released from detention. Karajah was detained without a proper arrest warrant, according to Darawi.
Ramallah – Palestinian Authority security forces detain prominent lawyer and human rights activist Muhannad Karajah. pic.twitter.com/GOv5WLQEra
— Khaled Abu Toameh (@KhaledAbuToameh) July 4, 2021
Hundreds of Palestinians in recent days have demanded the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), after the death of Banat while in custody, on June 24.
These protests have been violently suppressed by PA security forces and plainclothes officers.
Banat, 42, had registered as a candidate in Palestinian parliamentary elections that were set for May until Abbas postponed them indefinitely.
(WAFA, PC, Social Media)