According to documentation by PHROC members, at around 3:00 am on the morning of Monday, 16 July 2018, deputy attorney general Samir Banat was assaulted by the director of the Hebron Police’s criminal investigation unit in addition to members of the unit, within the unit’s premises, and in the presence of the on-duty deputy attorney general Munther Al-Zughair, who was with Mr. Banat at the time he was assaulted. Mr. Banat was transferred to Alia Governmental Hospital in Hebron for treatment as a result of the assault.
This crime comes as a continuation to previous attacks against the Palestinian judiciary, including the assault on judge Nabil Al-Natsheh in the Hebron Governorate on the night of Saturday, 9 June 2018, and the assault on advocate Muhammad Hussein by three armed individuals on Thursday, 9 November 2017, while inside the premises of the Nablus First Instance and Conciliation Court and before the judges’ chamber, in addition to other attacks against the Palestinian justice sector.
In light of the above, PHROC renews its condemnation of the crime committed against attorney general Samir Banat, which constitutes an assault on the public prosecution as the guardian of criminal justice and as commissioned by Palestinian society on the grounds of public right, while further condemning previous attacks against judge Nabil Al-Natsheh and advocate Muhammad Hussein. Notably, PHROC warns against the gravity of these assaults, amounting to crimes, and their repercussions on the Palestinian justice system as a whole, which continues to suffer from a major deterioration, while it broadly condemns attacks targeting any citizen and violating fundamental rights and freedoms and human dignity. Accordingly, PHROC calls upon the attorney general, as supervisor of judicial officers, to open a criminal investigation into these crimes and to refer all those found to be involved to the judiciary with a view to ensuring effective remedies.