Cape Breton Post

Palestinia­n mourners call for change at funeral

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HEBRON, West Bank — Palestinia­n mourners called on Friday for a change of government as they marched through Hebron for the funeral of one of President Mahmoud Abbas’s most prominent critics, who died after being arrested by security forces.

Thousands of people accompanie­d Nizar Banat’s coffin through the streets of the occupied West Bank city, many of them chanting “The people want the fall of the regime” and “Leave, leave Abbas”.

Some waved Palestinia­n flags and others the flag of Hamas, Abbas’s Islamist rivals in Gaza. Protesters also gathered in Ramallah and outside East Jerusalem’s Al-aqsa Mosque.

Banat’s family said Palestinia­n Authority (PA) forces broke into his house in the city in the early hours of Thursday and hit him repeatedly with a metal rod before arresting him.

He suffered blows to the head, the PA’S Independen­t Commission for Human Rights said after conducting an autopsy.

Abbas’ Palestinia­n Authority said it would hold an inquiry, but has not commented on the accusation­s.

Its governor for Hebron, Jibrin Al-bakri, said Banat died when his health “deteriorat­ed” during his arrest.

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