Palestinian police arrest professor for 'inciting Abbas' execution'

Palestinian police arrest professor for 'inciting Abbas' execution'
Palestinian security forces have arrested academic and opposition figure Abdel Sattar Qassem on charges of inciting violence against President Abbas.
2 min read
03 February, 2016
Qassem has been an outspoken critic of the PA leadership and the Oslo Accords [Getty]

A vocal critic of Israel and the Palestinian Authority [PA] has been arrested days after he was accused of calling for the execution of President Mahmoud Abbas.

Political Science professor Abdel Sattar Qassem was taken into custody at his home in Nablus in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday afternoon.

Fatah members have recently accused Qassem of calling for the killing of Abbas and members of the PA security forces for collaborating with Israel.

"I believe he was arrested because of comments he made recently on al-Quds TV," Qassem's wife, Amal al-Ahmad, told The New Arab.

"The police have not allowed my husband to contact me. I only found out by watching the surveillance camera footage that police had come and taken him," Ahmad added.

Last month, Qassem said that Abbas had violated Fatah's constitution.

Qassem said: "[Abbas] has violated the Palestinian Revolutionary Penal Code issued by the PLO in 1979 and the PA's constitution."

The law imposes a death sentence on those found guilty of "high treason" and for PLO members who implement policies of rapprochement with Israel or assist the Israeli occupation.

Qassem denied that he had called for the execution of Abbas before his arrest.

He called Fatah's accusations "baseless lies", adding: "I haven't called for the killing of anyone. I'm not the one who decides on such things. Only the relevant courts can decide on this".

The PA's spokesman has said that Qassem was arrested on orders of the general prosecutor and that several complaints had been lodged against him.

Qassem, an outspoken critic of the PA leadership and the Oslo Accords, has been arrested a number of times in the past.

On two different occasions, unknown assailants opened fire at him outside his home and his car was torched.

In 2011, the PA security forces arrested Qassem following a complaint filed against him by the administration of al-Najah National University, which was then headed by Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.