The military court of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah ruled on Wednesday that Commander Usama Mansour should be sacked from his position and serve one year in prison for telling Mahmoud Abbas to shun the funeral of Shimon Peres, Anadolu has reported. Mansour made his comment on Facebook; his post went viral. His sentence must be given final approval from Abbas.
The officer’s lawyer, Gandhi Al-Rabae, said that although the court based its decision on the fact that Mansour “did not obey orders”, the result was still unexpected. He hopes that the PA president will issue an official pardon for his client.
Mansour is formally the director of public relations and media at the Palestinian military liaison, which is responsible for coordinating security with Israel.
Mansour was arrested on 1 October immediately after posting his comments on Facebook. The security agencies believed that it would create popular anger, and it did.
The post stated:
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?
and went on to say
There should be no personal or friendly relations with the occupier, as long as they continue with their arrogant policies against our people.
The Palestinian Authority has engaged in a widespread crackdown against any form of dissent, sparking criticism that it is growing ever more authoritarian.