Jul 26, 2021
JERUSALEM WEATHER

Just one month after the conflict between Israel and Gaza ended and the Arab riots inside Israel ended, the Israeli Arabs began to riot again, clamoring for the overthrow of their government. One rabbi noted that this the fulfillment of a prophecy from Isaiah about ‘Egyptian’ infighting:

Nizar Banat: Beaten to death by PA police

Riots in Ramallah and Hebron continued to call for the removal of the Palestinian Authority leaders from power three days after the funeral of Nizar Banat, an outspoken critic of the Palestinian Authority leadership, who died last week after being arrested by PA security forces.

On Thursday, over 20 PA security forces broke into the home where Banat was staying in Hebron. Banat’s family reported that they had watched helplessly as he was stripped and pepper spray was sprayed directly into his eyes. He was beaten for at least eight minutes before security forces dragged him away from his home in Dura near Hebron. 

Two hours later, they learned through WhatsApp groups that he was dead. 

Dr. Samir Abu Zaarour, a forensic pathologist for the Independent Commission for Human Rights who attended the autopsy, said the death was “unnatural” and ruled out a heart attack or stroke. He said the final results will only be available after further testing. Pictures of the body released by the family appear to show bruising on his head and legs.

Shechem (Nablus) Governor Jibreen al-Bakri said the public prosecution had issued a summons for Mr. Banat and that “during the arrest, his health deteriorated”.

“He was immediately transferred to the Hebron Government Hospital. After he was examined by doctors, he was pronounced dead,” he added, without commenting on the family’s allegations.

The US State Department called on the PA to carry out a transparent investigation.

“We have serious concerns about Palestinian Authority restrictions on the exercise of freedom of expression by Palestinians and harassment of civil society activists and organizations,” US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.

The European Union also called for an investigation.

“Our thoughts go to his family and loved ones. [A] full, independent, and transparent investigation should be conducted immediately,” the EU said in a statement.

On Tuesday, the EU backed a $425 million aid package to the Palestinian private sector, at least $200 million of which would be channeled through PA institutions.

PA authorities told the media that such an investigation into his death will be launched in the near future and the results of the investigation will be announced “at the earliest opportunity”.

On Friday, during the funeral procession for Banat in Hebron, protesters shouted chants calling for the removal of PA President Mahmoud Abbas. PA police responded with tear gas and batons. Protests also broke out on the Temple Mount after Muslim prayers and in Ramallah. 

Banat created videos accusing the PA leadership of corruption which he posted to social media, most notably on his Facebook page which had more than 114,000 followers.  In December, Banat was held for several days under the PA’s controversial 2018 Cybercrimes Law, which allows Palestinians to be charged for “slandering” officials online.” 

This law was recently used to arrest at least 60 minors for posts made during the recent conflict between Israel and Gaza.  The law violates international laws, most particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. There are reports that some of those arrested were subject to torture and abuse in Jericho Prison.

According to his family, Banat had been imprisoned by the PA eight times – each time for several months.

Banat intended to run as a legislative candidate on an independent list but Mahmoud Abbas canceled the elections in April. Banat gave a televised speech criticizing Abbas. A few days after the broadcast, gunmen fired at his home. Banat fled to the Jewish section of Hebron to avoid the threat on his life. Abbas is currently in the 17th year of a four-year term.

On Tuesday, PA security forces arrested Issa Amro, a Palestinian activist based in Hebron, West Bank, for criticizing the PA government for corruption. Amro was subsequently released. Amro is also critical of Jews living in Judea and Samaria.

What the Matriarch Sarah saw

Rabbi Baruch Kahana noted that this internal conflict among the Palestinians was hinted at by the Prophet Isaiah:

“I will incite Egyptian against Egyptian: They shall war with each other, Every man with his fellow, City with city And kingdom with kingdom. Isaiah 19:2

It is interesting to note that many Palestinians are descendants of Egyptians who moved to British mandate Palestine as Jewish immigration opened up economic opportunity. Yasser Arafat, the Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the first President of the Palestinian Authority, was born in Cairo Egypt. So conflict among the Palestinians is the explicit manifestation of Isaiah’s prophecy.

Rabbi Kahana also emphasized that the belligerent nature of the Arabs was also hinted at in Genesis:

The angel of Hashem said to her further, “Behold, you are with child And shall bear a son; You shall call him Ishmael, For Hashem has paid heed to your suffering.He shall be a wild ass of a man; His hand against everyone, And everyone’s hand against him; He shall dwell alongside of all his kinsmen.” Genesis 16:11-12

Rabbi Kahana said that this is exactly what the matriarch Sarah saw that led her to send Hagar and Ishmael away.

“This is the difference between Ishmael and Isaac,” Rabbi Kahana said. “It is two different worlds. They can never be brothers. We cannot live together with them. They are taught to hate and we are taught to love. Once you say to hate the Jews, which they do to their children, then you can easily hate your own father or your own brother. You can’t fix this inside of them.”