The Palestinian Authority security services arrested on Monday the key witness in the Nizar Banat murder case, the Middle East Monitor has revealed. Banat, a harsh critic of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, was killed by PA security officers in June.
“My brother, Hussein Banat, the cousin of Nizar Banat, was arrested today,” Ammar Banat wrote on Twitter. “Hussein is one of the key eyewitnesses of the murder of Nizar.”
Ammar Banat pointed out that the PA security services raided the areas where Nizar’s relatives live and broke into their homes.
According to local sources, Hussein Banat – cousin of Nizar Banat and primary witness to PA security forces beating and brutalizing him – was arrested by the PA security forces and has been held for hours. Human rights organizations are being denied access to him. pic.twitter.com/cMTAGFJf5r
— Good Shepherd Collective (@Shepherds4Good) September 27, 2021
Nizar Banat was well-known for his criticism of Palestinian politics on social media. In his videos, he criticized Abbas and other senior PA officials regularly for corruption and their security cooperation with the Israeli occupation authorities.
His killing attracted international condemnation and sparked rare protests against the PA leadership by Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
Hussein Banat, Nizar’s cousin, was one of two witnesses to the raid that ended with his killing. His testimony is central to the charges against the PA officers, whose trial opened on Monday. Local sources told Al-Maydan News Agency that Hussein “was beaten unconscious, and he was left without medical care.”
Ammar Banat, Nizar Banat’s cousin: “The security forces arrested my brother Hussein, who was one of the witnesses to Nizar’s assassination, and raided all the family’s homes in the southern area of Hebron.” pic.twitter.com/z3XtvYDzGk
— Shehab (@ShehabPal) September 27, 2021
The sources added that the PA Protective Security agents asked Hussein “to deny that he saw Colonel Aziz Tamizi, the commander of the mission when Banat was murdered, putting gas into his cousin’s mouth, and deny that he heard him ordering other security officers to complete the mission.”
A Hebrew source confirmed to MEMO on Tuesday morning the information mentioned in this report.
(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)