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Palestinian officer arrested after criticising Abbas for Peres funeral

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) during the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem on 30 September, 2016 [Amos Ben Gershom/Reuters]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) during the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem on 30 September, 2016 [Amos Ben Gershom/Reuters]

Palestinian security forces have detained a military liaison officer a day after he took to his Facebook account to criticise President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas for attending the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres.

An informed source, requesting anonymity, said Palestinian officers took Osama Mansour Abu Arab into custody after surrounding his house in the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Saturday morning, Ma’an news agency reported.

The source added that Abu Arab had received a notification of dismissal from work as a major in the Palestinian Authority’s military liaison office hours before his arrest.

The Military Liaison is a unit within the Palestinian National Security Forces (NSF) that coordinates affairs with Israel.

Abu Arab had in his post scoffed at Abbas for offering condolences on the death of Peres, describing the former Israeli president as “the founder of settlement expansion activities.”

More than half a million Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

“Whether Peres was a terrorist or not, whether he formulated the policy of breaking Palestinian bones during the First Intifada or not, whether he was involved in the 2002 Jenin refugee camp massacre, the massacre in Al-Yasmeen neighbourhood of Nablus, or the 1996 Qana massacre (in Lebanon) – who is he that you are going to participate in his funeral while the majority of the people you represent oppose him?” the Facebook post read.

Abu Arab had further said it was a “mistake” to partake in the “funeral of a killer of our people.”

“There should be no intimate and friendly relations with the Occupation, as long as they continue their arrogant policies against our people. Reconsider your decision, Sir,” Abu Arab had written.

Peres died aged 93 on September 28 after spending almost a fortnight in a medically induced coma following a major stroke. Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shook hands and exchanged brief words during Peres’ funeral on Friday.

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