Palestinian author Abbad Yahya, Feb. 9, 2017.
Abbad Yahyia via AP
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The crackdown on 29-year-old Abbad Yahya has set off a wide public debate between the Palestinian society's large conservative segment and the small liberal minority."Crime in Ramallah" tracks the lives of three young Palestinian men who meet in the city, the headquarters of the Palestinian government of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.The novel pokes fun at Palestinian leaders, portraying them as losers.One bookshop owner in Ramallah said that he sold 10 copies of the novel in its first two months of release. On the day of the ban – before police came and confiscated his remaining copies – he sold 17 .He said police grabbed him and pushed him into a car without showing a warrant, and that he was held for six hours before the Palestinian Culture Minister, Ehab Bsaiso, arranged his release. Police had confiscated all remaining copies, he said, about 500 in bookstores and 500 in libraries across the West Bank.
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