A Canadian-Palestinian businessman, Mohamed al-Sabawi, was arrested and detained by the Palestinian Authority in yet another sign of a burgeoning crackdown within the provisional government. Although no formal charges were ever pressed, his arrest is widely attributed to his public calls for the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority.
His son, Khaled al-Sabawi, joined HuffPost Live's Ahmed Shihab-Eldin to discuss how his father's arrest is indicative of undemocratic policies within the Palestinian Authority.
As al-Sabawi recalls the incident, armed presidential guards forced their way into his family's office building without asking for consent.
"When my father protested this violation of our individual and property rights, Mahmoud Abbas sent police to arrest him. The arrest and detention of my father was illegal. There were no charges ever given to my father and he was held for nine hours straight without any charge whatsoever."
Al-Sabawi says such incidents are not uncommon in the Palestinian territories, where the current leadership "cannot tolerate dissent."
"The Palestinian Authority quivers in their collective boots every time a tweet, Facebook message, or article is posted or published exposing any example of their corruption. Freedom of speech doesn't exist in the Palestinian territories," he said.
He went on to discuss the way in which the "undemocratic government" has also repressed entrepreneurship in the territories. Al-Sabawi says he has experienced this personally, while running MENA Geothermal, a company that has installed the largest geothermal heating systems in the Middle East and North Africa.
"They have a bureaucracy that is very difficult to deal with -- [lots of] nepotism and a lot of corruption, " al-Sabawi said.