The Palestinian Authority (PA) has recently asked Israel for permission to restock its supply of anti-riot equipment, including teargas and stun grenades, in anticipation of protests across the West Bank over the Palestinian security services' extrajudicial murder of political opponent Nizar Banat in Hebron last week, Israel' Ynet News reported yesterday.
The site quoted Palestinian sources as saying that such equipment can only be purchased with Israel's permission, and in limited quantities.
According to the sources, the Palestinian security services' stock of anti-riot gear has almost run out following the dispersal of protests in Ramallah last week, and therefore they want to restock in anticipation of more demonstrations in the coming days.
The site said, the Palestinian Authority is preparing for the possibility of renewed protests in the coming days, with the publication of the internal investigation committee's report into Banat's death.
Last Sunday, the United Nations Human Rights Office in the occupied Palestinian territory called for an investigation into the Palestinian security forces' use of excessive force and to identify those responsible for Banat's death. It also said those who ordered the crackdown on demonstrations that erupted in Ramallah as a result of his death should be held accountable.
On Monday, the spokesman for the UN secretary-general called on the PA to "ensure freedom of expression, freedom of opinion, and peaceful assembly," stressing that "any excessive use of force is investigated and prosecuted in accordance with the law."
Banat, 43, was a social activist who had accused the PA of corruption, including over a short-lived COVID-19 vaccine exchange with Israel this month and the postponement of a long-delayed election in May. He had registered as a parliamentary candidate for that contest.