The Cradle
Prosecutors in Nizar Banat’s murder case reveal PA soldiers beat him to death in his bed
The revelation comes just one day after PA agents arrested a key witness in the case
By News Desk - September 28 2021
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(Photo credit: AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

The lawyer for the family of murdered Palestinian activist Nizar Banat revealed on 28 September that military prosecutors have confirmed Banat was beaten by Palestinian Authority (PA) forces while he was asleep.

“The members of the security services who participated in the crime beat Nizar with a crowbar while he slept in bed. This is what we [have said happened] from the beginning. Nizar did not know what was happening and offered no resistance,” lawyer Gandhi Amin told the press.

This bombshell revelation comes one day after the PA began the military trial of 14 of its members for participating in the killing of Nizar Banat at his home in Hebron on 24 June.

All 14 accused have pleaded not guilty to the crime. However, on the same day the trial began, PA troops reportedly arrested a key witness in the case.

“My brother, Hussein Banat, the cousin of Nizar Banat, was arrested today,” Ammar Banat wrote on Twitter. “Hussein is one of the key eyewitnesses of the murder of Nizar.”

According to local reports, Hussein was “beaten unconscious” following his arrest.

Sources also claimed that the PA agents demanded Hussein deny he saw Colonel Aziz Tamizi putting gas into his cousin’s mouth and deny he heard him ordering other security officers to “complete the mission.”

PA officials have so far offered no comment on the arrest of Hussein Banat.

In response to Hussein Banat’s arbitrary arrest, his family has reportedly decided to suspend their participation in the military trial until the PA releases him.

Nizar Banat, a well known critic of the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, died in June shortly after PA security forces stormed his home in the city of Hebron and dragged him away.

A post-mortem examination found he had been beaten on the head, chest, neck, legs and hands, with less than an hour elapsing between his arrest and his death.

The two main witnesses in the case – Hussein and Mohammad Banat – were sleeping on the ground next to Nizar when the PA agents burst in.

According to the indictment read during the opening of the trial: “[The officers] sprayed pepper gas at [Hussein and Mohammad] and placed guns to their heads and told them not to move. At the same time, one of the officers carrying an iron crowbar walked over to [Banat’s] bed and began to beat him savagely all over his body.

“At that moment, the rest of the officers who had entered the house joined in, brutally beating Banat with iron crowbars, a staff, pistol butts, their hands and feet. They dragged him from the bed on which he was sleeping to the ground and stripped his upper body,” military prosecutors added.

After the vicious beating, the PA agents reportedly dragged Banat off to a precinct before being ordered to take him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.