Palestinian journalist Ayman Qawasmi, and human rights activist Issa Amro, were reportedly arrested after their Facebook posts calling on the Palestinian autocrat Mahmoud Abbas to resign, since he finished his presidential term a decade ago.
• Amnesty International calls Amro’s arrest “a shameless attack on freedom of expression.”
By Associated Press and Israel Hayom Staff
Palestinian security forces have detained a prominent activist and a journalist after they called for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to resign.
Abbas was elected in 2005, but has overstayed his five-year term over the rift with Hamas, which seized control of the Gaza Strip in a military coup in 2007, effectively splitting the Palestinian Authority into two separate entities. Several reconciliation attempts between the rival factions, most recently in 2014, have failed, preventing new presidential elections. To date, no one has been able to successfully challenge Abbas for the role.
A lawyer representing Issa Amro, a human rights activist from the West Bank city of Hebron, said that his client was arrested Monday after posting his comments on Facebook.
Ayman Qawasmi, a Palestinian reporter, was arrested on Sunday after writing that Abbas should resign for “failing to protect the Palestinian people.” Qawasmi’s radio station was closed last week by the Israeli military for alleged incitement to violence.
The arrests are the latest in recent crackdowns on journalists by the Palestinian Authority.
Amnesty International called Amro’s arrest “a shameless attack on freedom of expression.”
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