By Khaled Abu Toameh, JPost—
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday called on Canada and the international community to “stop Israeli aggressions that violate international law.” He made the appeal during a meeting in Ramallah with Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau.
Garneau’s visit to Ramallah came as Abbas continues to face widespread criticism over the death of anti-corruption activist Nizar Banat, who was reportedly beaten to death by PA security officers in Hebron on June 24.
In the past week, thousands of Palestinians have taken to the streets to demand Abbas’s removal from office. The protesters have also demanded that those responsible for the death of Banat be brought to justice.
The visit also comes amid a stepped-up crackdown by PA security forces on political activists, social media users and journalists in the West Bank.
The Representative Office of Canada in Ramallah last week said it was “deeply concerned by the attacks on Palestinians protesting the death of Nizar Banat, as well as the unacceptable attacks on journalists covering the protests.” It called on the PA to take immediate steps to ensure that freedoms of assembly and expression are respected and protected.
Abbas told Garneau that the Palestinians are prepared to return to the political process with Israel “to end the occupation and achieve comprehensive peace, in accordance with international resolutions, under the auspices of the Quartet” members – the US, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union.
Abbas stressed the importance of having a political horizon and giving hope to the Palestinians, according to the PA’s official news agency WAFA. Continue Reading….