The death of Banat, a prominent critic of the PA, on June 24 set off weeks of protests. As PA security forces violently cracked down on the demonstrations, many journalists covering the protests were also beaten, arrested, and had equipment smashed or confiscated.
Halima Abu Haneya, a Palestinian social sciences expert, said the PA's growing animosity towards the media was exacerbated by coverage of the Banat case and the PA's passive stance during the recent war between Israel and Palestinian groups in Gaza.
The PA has also faced growing criticism from protesters and rights groups for its perceived authoritarianism, corruption, and cooperation with the Israeli occupation.
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