Palestinian Authority security forces are alleged to have "murdered" an opposition activist today in the occupied city of Hebron in the West Bank. The family of Nizar Banat has said that he was taken away from his home at dawn this morning.
"Security forces raided the house at 3:30am," the family explained. "Nizar Banat was brutally beaten with batons on his head and was still alive when he was arrested."
The PA Governor of Hebron, Jibreen Al-Bakri, said that Banat died while being arrested by the security forces, which had a judicial order for his detention. He claimed that he was taken subsequently to a hospital.
His family, however, told Arabi21.com that they have searched everywhere for him, and he was not taken to a hospital. "His body is hidden," they insist. "We know nothing about its whereabouts. We are afraid that the PA might hide the evidence that he was murdered by them."
Banat was a candidate for the Palestinian Legislative Council election which should have been held early this year. The election was cancelled by PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, placed full responsibility for the "murder" of Nizar Banat on the Palestinian Authority. They described the incident as a "crime".