PA seeks to purchase additional riot gear as unrest continues

Widespread unrest in PA-controlled areas may have serious security implications for Israel.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

The Palestinian Authority is gearing up for continuing unrest after the death of activist Nizar Banat in police custody.

Ynet reported that the PA is seeking to purchase additional riot control and dispersal gear, including stun and smoke grenades, after five days of protests throughout PA-controlled areas that saw demonstrators violently clashing with police.

PA sources told Ynet that security forces are aiming to beef up their stock of riot gear after significant amounts of the inventory were used in Ramallah in recent days.

The PA wants to have enough supplies in stock to transfer to other PA-controlled areas if protests spring up outside of Ramallah, the source said.

With the results of an investigation into Banat’s death set to be released in the coming days, the PA expects an uptick in the intensity of the demonstrations.

Banat’s family has preemptively announced that they refuse to accept the results of the investigation, saying in a statement that they “do not need the commission of inquiry, as we know who killed him.”

“These are officials in the Palestinian Authority. He was murdered after a clear decision was made to eliminate him and those responsible are the senior PA officials,” the family said in a statement.”

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Widespread unrest in PA-controlled areas may have serious security implications for Israel.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas cancelled Palestinian national elections that were slated to take place in May 2021, blaming Israel for not stating if it would permit polling places in eastern Jerusalem.

But according to opinion polls, Abbas is wildly unpopular among the Palestinian public. It is widely believed that his real reason for the cancelling elections — the first that were to take place since 2006 — was to maintain his grip on power, as he likely would have been unseated by his rivals from Fatah or the Hamas terror group.

Hamas has surged in popularity among Palestinians on the heels of Operation Guardian of the Walls. According to a poll from the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, 53% of Palestinians said that Hamas is “most deserving of representing and leading the Palestinian people,” with only 14% saying the same of Abbas.