Following what appears to have been the politically driven assassination of Palestinian activist and critic of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Nizar Banat, on Thursday, international actors hurried to issue statements of condemnation. It was an ultimate exercise in hypocrisy and insincerity, as these same actors have sponsored – both financially and politically – the very PA security bodies that arrested and killed Banat.
Indeed, these actors have invested billions of dollars in the PA’s security-sector reform project, and sponsored a process aiming to empower the PA’s security establishment, professionalise authoritarianism and criminalise resistance.
Statements of concern from key international actors cannot serve as a fig leaf for their complicity in this tragedy. This must be stopped, and the key is to hold these actors accountable for all the harm they have caused over the years by investing in “securitised” approaches that only impede the journey of the Palestinian people towards liberation and freedom.
Banat said: “If my body leaves, don’t let my voice die.” The protesters in the streets of Palestine, and their anger against the PA and its security forces, are amplifying Banat’s voice – and the international community must listen prudently.
Published at The Middle East Eye, 25 June 2021