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Palestinian labour minister withdraws threat to quit over activist

Abu Jaish said in a statement that prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh had twice refused to accept his resignation

AFP , Sunday 11 Jul 2021
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The Palestinian Authority labour minister who declared he would resign amid protests over the death of an activist in custody will ultimately remain in office, he said Sunday.
 
Nasri Abu Jaish, who is also the representative of the left-wing People's Party in the government, said late June he would quit the Fatah-led PA due to "its lack of respect for laws and public freedoms".
 
Abu Jaish had announced his pending resignation following the violent arrest and death in custody of activist Nizar Banat.
 
Banat, a 43-year-old known for social media videos denouncing alleged corruption within the PA, died on June 24 shortly after security forces stormed his house, beat him and dragged him away.
 
But on Sunday, Abu Jaish said in a statement that prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh had twice refused to accept his resignation, leading him to "continue in the Palestinian government as a minister of labour".
 
The PA announced the opening of an investigation into Banat's death, but demonstrators continued protesting weeks after.
 
"We will remain standing in the street until justice is achieved," protester Maher Akhras said Sunday, accusing the PA of having "killed Nizar Banat and assaulted demonstrators."
 
Banat had registered as a candidate in Palestinian parliamentary elections that were set for May, until Abbas postponed them indefinitely.
 
"We have the right to elections, to elect our representatives and to elect a president," protester Omar Assaf said.
 
"We need to rebuild the entire political Palestinian system".
 
*This story was edited by Ahram Online.
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