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PA security officer arrested after criticizing Abbas' participation in Peres funeral

Oct. 1, 2016 6:15 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 12, 2016 6:22 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Palestinian security forces arrested a Palestinian military liaison officer in his home in Jenin on Saturday, a day after he shared a post on his Facebook page criticizing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' participation in the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres.

A member of Osama Abu Arab’s family told Ma’an via telephone that large numbers of Palestinian security officers surrounded Abu Arab’s home on Saturday morning and took him into custody.

The source highlighted that hours before Abu Arab was arrested, he was notified that he was suspended from his work as a major in the Palestinian Authority military liaison office.The military liaison is a unit with the Palestinian security forces responsible for coordinating security with Israel.

The caller also said that the family believed Abu Arab was suspended from his work and arrested as a result of a post he published on his Facebook page asking Abbas to reconsider his decision to attend Peres’ funeral.

In his post, Abu Arab highlighted the irony of Abbas offering his condolences for Peres -- “the founder of settlement activity” -- in spite of the Palestinian president’s repeated condemnation of the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements. The post, which addressed Abbas directly, also listed a number of policies and military assaults against the Palestinian people that Abu Arab associated with Peres, who held several significant roles in Israeli politics and the military over the years.

“Whether (Peres) was a terrorist or not, whether he invented of the policy of breaking bones during the First Intifada or not, whether he was involved in the Jenin refugee camp massacre, the massacre of the al-Yasmin neighborhood in Nablus, or the massacre of Qana -- who is he that you are going to partake in his funeral while the majority of the people you represent oppose him?”

“You can visit the mother of Yasser Hamduna, who died in Israeli custody, and ask her what she thinks. If she agrees, go. If she doesn't, you will have the final word. But if you decide alone to partake in the funeral of a killer of our people, that would be a mistake. And if you made up your mind after consultations, you have been misled.

“There should be no personal or friendly relations with the occupier, as long as they continue with their arrogant policies against our people.

“Reconsider your decision, sir.”

Abbas’s decision to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres on Friday, came in spite of widespread outrage from rival Palestinian political factions.

Peres died on Wednesday at 93 years of age after suffering a stroke two weeks earlier.
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