The status of the Palestinian Authority declines in mounting setbacks | International News Palestine News

Ramallah, the occupied West Bank– A few months before Ghassan’s sixth birthday, he had planned his party; he wanted a police costume and a cake shaped like a police cap. Until a month ago, his adoration of the police was broken.

On July 5, Ghassan’s mother Hind Shraydeh went to the police station in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah to demand the release of her husband. The Palestinian Authority (PA) earlier in the day. The police stated that the activists were arrested because they did not obtain permits for the protests.

After Shraydeh posted a video chanting “Freedom, against political arrests” on Facebook, her impromptu protests expanded to a dozen family members and activists. But it did not last long.

Riot police violently suppressed protesters, observers and journalists. Shraydeh was dragged by her hair and was beaten and detained in front of her children. They also saw their uncle and 77-year-old grandfather sprayed with pepper.

When she was reunited with the children after midnight, under the intervention of the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Gassan told her that he did not want to be a policeman anymore.

“Police is no longer a five-year-old’s dream job,” Shraydeh said. “The Palestinian Authority can no longer maintain its image-no security, no protection, no respect for others, no diversity… This is not the country we are fighting for.”

This Nizar Banat, 46, dies During the detention of the Palestinian Authority on June 24, it triggered protests in the West Bank. Barnat, a political activist and outspoken Palestinian Authority critic, has posted videos accusing the Palestinian Authority of corruption on social media.

Fatah — the movement that controls the Palestinian Authority — has been holding counter-protests, swearing allegiance to President Mahmoud Abbas, and claiming that he is still the legitimate leader 16 years after his last election.

“We don’t want to label our people a traitor under any circumstances, but the protests may be used by those who want to harm the interests of the Palestinian nation,” Fatah spokesman Hassan Hamayel told Al Jazeera.

He criticized activists in the West Bank for not protesting the death of a Palestinian detained by Hamas in Gaza a few days ago, but said he did not draw exact similarities.

“I’m not comparing, we have a state here-there is law and order… we are the legal institution that the world deals with,” Hamayel said.

But law and order is one of the protesters’ demands.

The Palestinian Authority stated that it detained 14 members of the security patrol who had detained Banat and transferred them to the military judicial institution. Until the investigation of their suspected involvement in his death is completed, the trust in the Palestinian Authority judicial system has been maintained. Falling over Two thirds Believing that there is corruption in the judicial institutions.

On July 25, senior Fatah official Hussein Sheikh apologized for the death of Banat on behalf of President Abbas.

“This is a sad and unfortunate accident. Maybe something went wrong in law enforcement… The important thing is that there are procedures for law and order and to judge who did it wrong,” Media line To quote him.

The main activist Omar Assaf told Al Jazeera that an apology is a good start, but that accountability and justice are indeed needed.

“He should first address the Palestinian people through local channels instead of international media,” Assaf added.

Although Banat’s death was the catalyst for recent protests demanding justice, security reforms, and elections, before his death, dissatisfaction with the Palestinian Authority had been increasing.

Legitimacy crisis

In April, Abbas postponed This will be the first parliamentary election in 15 years, because what he is talking about is a dispute about voting in East Jerusalem annexed by Israel.

Critics accuse the 85-year-old leader of the Palestinian Authority of taking advantage of the problem As an excuse In order to avoid the possible failure of Fatah’s polls, opinion poll experts said the postponement was a turning point in the public’s perception of the Palestinian Authority.

The passive stance taken by the Palestinian Authority during the protests and confrontations with the Israeli army on the forced expulsion of Palestinian families near East Jerusalem has exacerbated its dissatisfaction with the Palestinian Authority. Sheikh Jala And the 11-day war between Israel and Palestinian groups in Gaza in May, and the investigation into the cancellation of the vaccine exchange agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

Khalil Shikaki, a political science professor and director of the Palestine Policy and Research Center who has been conducting polls since 1993, told Al Jazeera that he had never seen Palestinians in the West Bank feel such a high level of frustration with the Palestinian Authority. Gaza.

He said that the Palestinians were dissatisfied with the Palestinian Authority’s views on Israeli occupation, its management of the West Bank under its control, and its growing corruption and authoritarian cooperation.

“There is a perception that the Palestinian Authority is basically accepting the status quo, lacking the initiative and determination to confront Israel, and is basically protecting its own interests to maintain the survival of the Palestinian Authority,” Shikaki said.

According to a recent poll conducted by the Palestine Policy and Research Center, Publish On July 4th, if a presidential election is held and only two people are nominated: Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and Ismail Haniye of Hamas, the former will receive 27% of the votes and the latter will receive 59% of the votes-while Abbas voted 47% three months ago.

However, despite the Palestinians’ desire for change, the elections are far away.

Fatah suggested that the government should be reorganized to appease critics. Officials told Al Jazeera that Abbas had approved the proposal-and planned to change security agencies and diplomatic missions.

But Assaf said that the Palestinian Authority’s legitimacy crisis will not be resolved through reorganization.

“As long as there are no elections, the crisis will always exist,” he said.

“We broke the fear barrier”

At the same time, despite being relatively small and concentrated in Ramallah and Hebron, protests against the Palestinian Authority continue, and another protest will take place on August 2.

According to analysts, when Hamas tried to restore its global image, it avoided using its base in the West Bank for fear of a bloody confrontation with Fatah. In general, Fatah is defending the Palestinian Authority and avoiding public criticism of the president.

Shikaki said that third parties and independents are leading the demonstrations, but they account for less than a quarter of the population and lack the basis and organized mechanism to maintain the protests.

The events that occurred after the Arab Spring and the desire for stability, as well as concerns about security, have also put pressure on many people who desire change.

“They don’t want to risk being beaten up by the security services, and they don’t want to risk having to go to jail. They see what happens, even when they come out there are reporters… Some people worry that they will lose their jobs, and Worried about daily life conditions,” Shikaki said.

However, Assaf did not drag his feet. The 71-year-old is often seen in every protest, often with a loudspeaker, and he said he believes this game will snowball.

“We broke the fear barrier,” Assaf said, but he remained vigilant.

“The Palestinian Authority’s repression is not just a manifestation of weakness and chaos. In a certain way, this is the beginning of a war of successors who will succeed after Abbas left,” he added.

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