Nasri Abu Jaish said Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh twice refused to accept his resignation, which led to him remaining in government.
The Palestinian Authority labor minister who said he would resign amid protests over the death of an activist in detention will ultimately remain in office, he said on Sunday.
Nasri Abu Jaish, who is also the representative of the Left People’s Party in government, said at the end of June that he would quit the Fatah-led PA because of “his lack of respect for laws and public freedoms.”
Abu Jaish had announced his imminent resignation as protesters called on President Mahmoud Abbas to step down, following the violent arrest and death in custody of activist Nizar Banat.
Banat, a 43-year-old man known for his social media videos exposing allegations of corruption within the Palestinian Authority, deceased on June 24, shortly after security forces stormed his home, beat and dragged him.
But on Sunday, Abu Jaish said in a statement that Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh twice refused to accept his resignation, which led him to “continue in the Palestinian government as minister of labor”.
The Palestinian Authority announced the opening of an investigation into Banat’s death, but protesters continued to protest weeks later.
Hundreds of people in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday called for Abbas’ resignation, denouncing the use of force by Palestinian security to quell recent protests.
“We will stand in the streets until justice is done,” protester Maher Akhras said on Sunday, accusing the PA of “killing Nizar Banat and assaulting protesters”.
A few hundred demonstrated in Ramallah, demanding justice for #NizarBanat, fall of the PA and elections. In the banner, a photo of President Abbas from the Fatah protest, describing him as a symbol of legitimacy… President Abbas has ruled by decree for 14 years. pic.twitter.com/HfvkLz6mfv
-Rania Zabaneh (@RZabaneh) July 11, 2021
The Banat had registered as a candidate in the Palestinian legislative elections scheduled for May, until Abbas postponed them indefinitely.
Samir Abu Zarzour, the doctor who performed his autopsy, said the wounds on Banat’s body indicated that he was beaten on the head, chest, neck, legs and hands, less than one hour between his arrest and his death.
The demonstrators expressed their anger at the lack of a democratic process in the territory.
“We have the right to elections, to elect our representatives and to elect a president,” protester Omar Assaf said.
“We have to rebuild the entire Palestinian political system. “
Protests in Ramallah sparked by Banat’s death in custody continued for several weeks.