| 25 February 2024, Sunday |

Death of PA critic Nizar Banat while Abbas works on uniting Palestinian factions.

With the aim of reaching  a national unity agreement, Jenin Governor Major General Akram Rajoub announced that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to form committees to communicate with the Palestinian factions including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.

Rajoub made his remarks during the 8th edition of the Revolutionary Council of Fatah meetings, attended by Abbas.

Meanwhile,Nizar Banat, a leading Palestinian activist and critic of the Palestinian Authority (PA), has died after a raid by PA security forces on his home in Dura in the Hebron area early on Thursday.

In a statement, the Governor of Hebron Jibreen al-Bakri said “during the arrest his health deteriorated,” however Banat’s family said he had been subjected to a beating while being detained.

The arrest took place as the PA stepped up its security crackdown on political opponents and social media users in the occupied West Bank.

Council member Iyad Nasr said Fatah is committed to a national partnership, dialogue, forming a unified political regime, and then a unified government or reaching a national accord.

Abbas chaired the meeting on Monday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, calling on the Palestinian factions to launch a serious dialogue to end the internal split and to build a national partnership.

This call follows the failure of talks in Cairo over disagreement on the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the government, and the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.

For its part, Hamas urged Abbas to present adequate options to get back on the track of the reconciliation.

Head of Hamas delegation Saleh Arouri stated that the failure to achieve a breakthrough in the previous rounds of dialogue was a result of postponing the elections.

The decision not to hold the elections “was made without consultations with the partners or the guarantors,” Arouri added.

Abbas announced the postponement of the 2021 Palestinian legislative elections, which had been scheduled for May 22 because Israel banned the polls in Jerusalem.

However, Hamas accused Abbas of postponing the elections out of concern that Fatah would be defeated.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat