We must act quickly, before it is too late, to take serious, tangible steps from the wise, honorable and good people of the country, including its liberated prisoners, and utilise a radical approach that’s based on the rule of law and the preservation of public freedoms.
Written by: Issam Baker
Since Nizar Banat, a political activist who died during his arrest as a result of being severely beaten by the forces assigned to arrest him, many protests have arisen in the West Bank demanding accountability for those responsible for his death. There have been confrontations between security personnel and demonstrators condemning the crime of Banat’s death, which resulted in injuries amongst the demonstrator and several activists. These occurrences led us to go down an alarming slippery slope.
We all witnessed the painful scenes against the people and the demonstrations that expressed their rejection of this certain kind of behavior that does not commensurate with the values and morals of a people who are living under occupation. None of us should lose sight of the main issue, i.e., the occupation. Therefore, all internal issues must be overcome in favor of facing the occupation, and following the example of Beta, a small village near Nablus, which has been highly active in its continuous daily struggle for about 70 days.
The issue is not just a case of venting in light of Banat’s death, with whom we may disagree or agree with. What is happening is much more dangerous than that, as it makes everyone on the brink of the abyss and leads to fragmentation in the Palestinian society. It is as if the continuous division, the extent of consequences resulting from it and the steadfastness in the face of the occupation are not enough to learn from.
Therefore, we must act quickly, before it is too late, to take serious, tangible steps from the wise, honorable and good people of the country, including its liberated prisoners, and utilise a radical approach that’s based on the rule of law and the preservation of public freedoms. It is necessary to hold anyone who committed any attack on any citizen to account, to closely follow up on the death of Nizar Banat, to find mechanisms to prevent this from recurring and to reveal the truth in front of the public without concealment, delay, or reluctance.
The real, natural picture is the one of steadfastness, solidarity and joining together in light of the recent escalation of violence in Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and West Bank. This image should not be destroyed, as it has brought the Palestinian cause to the forefront, and with it came international solidarity that we need. This is the image that we must hold onto. Why insist on replacing this image with another one that does not portray our people’s sacrifices.
This chaos must come to an end. Emerging into a deteriorating internal situation prepares for the collapse of the entire country, not just the authority. No one wants to witness the day following the fall of the country and what it entails. In order to restore the prestige of the authority and its security services, there must be the willingness to protect the people and their dignity and to maintain civil peace. A serious and radical solution must be taken before turning into a deep state. We must work on a different national plan with new tools and mechanisms of action, reconsider the system of unitary and combative work and prioritize the national interest in order to stop the chaos immediately.