Palestinian Authority Human Rights Violations Ignored by Media, West
Evidently, most Western governments, journalists and human rights organizations have chosen to endorse the Palestinian Authority's stance that the only evil-doers are the Israelis. And that is precisely why the ICHR report on the anarchy, lawlessness and human rights violations by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas will be completely ignored in the West.
A report issued by the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) this week criticized the Palestinian Authority [PA] and Hamas for assaults on human rights and freedoms in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The report, which has been ignored by mainstream media and human rights organizations in the West, reveals that 10 Palestinians died in January 2014 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a result of anarchy, lawlessness and misuse of weapons.
The report also lists cases of torture and mistreatment in PA and Hamas prisons. ICHR pointed to an increase in the number of torture cases in prisons belonging to the PA's much-feared Preventive Security Service in the West Bank.
During January, ICHR wrote that it received 56 complaints about torture and mistreatment in Palestinian prisons: 36 in the Gaza Strip and 19 in the West Bank. In addition, the human rights organization received innumerable complaints about arbitrary and unlawful arrests of Palestinians by the PA and Hamas.
A Palestinian Authority policeman attacks protestors. (Image source: "Palestinians for Dignity" Facebook Page)
ICHR wrote that it also received complaints from Palestinians who accused the Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank of unlawfully seizing their money.
The organization also received complaints about assaults on freedom of expression and the media, as well as on peaceful protests and academic freedoms.
Of the 10 Palestinians who died during January, the report found that half of them died as a result of violent disputes between clans. One Palestinian was killed while working in a smuggling tunnel along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Three Palestinians died in what the organization describes as cases of "security anarchy and misuse of weapons." In the Gaza Strip, the report said, a 13-year-old girl named Wisam Ashour committed suicide by hanging herself in her family home.
With regards to torture, the organization stated that it received complaints from Palestinians who said they had been tortured while in detention in Palestinian Authority and Hamas prisons.
ICHR related that it received 85 complaints during January concerning unlawful and arbitrary arrests by the two Palestinian governments. Many detainees said they were taken into custody for "politically-motivated" offenses.
As for assaults on freedom of expression and peaceful protests, the human rights organization pointed out that on January 12, 2014, PA policemen used force to break up a protest by Palestinian youths north of Ramallah. Between 60-70 protesters, the report continued, were wounded in the head and legs after policemen attacked them with clubs and stun grenades.
On January 28, 2014, Palestinian Authority policemen used live ammunition to disperse stone-throwers in the center of Ramallah, according to the report. It also stated that there was no reason for the use of live ammunition during the incident. Four protesters were wounded, the report documented, when policemen attacked them with clubs.
During the last week of January, the report noted, Hamas security forces raided two university campuses in the Gaza Strip and used excessive force to disperse student protests against high tuition.
In the West Bank, the Preventive Security Service summoned for interrogation a number of students suspected of involvement in political activities, and, the report revealed, a University in Jericho expelled a student on suspicion that his brother and cousin belonged to Hamas.
Referring to anarchy and lawlessness in the West Bank, the human rights organization pointed to an incident that took place near Hebron on January 18. On that day, more than 100 men attacked the building of the Yatta Municipality, using a bulldozer to force their way inside.
Mayor Musa Makhamarah said the assailants were relatives and friends of a municipal council who had been dismissed from his job. The mayor complained that although he had warned the Palestinian Authority police in advance about the possibility of such an attack, no police reinforcements were dispatched to the scene.
The report found that the Palestinian Authority was continuing to ignore court rulings. The Preventive Security Service and the General Intelligence Force regularly ignore orders issued by various courts to release Palestinian detainees, it pointed out, listing seven cases that occurred last month.
Earlier last week, representatives of ICHR met with PA Interior Minister Said Abu Ali and discussed with him cases of torture and human rights violations in the West Bank. They also discussed the continued security crackdown on Palestinian students at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank. Many students have complained that they were being targeted for "political reasons" by various branches of the Palestinian security establishment.
The report's findings once again show that neither the Palestinian Authority nor Hamas respect human rights and freedom of expression in the territories under their control.
That Hamas is responsible for human rights violations and assaults on freedom of expression should not come as a surprise to anyone.
But what is surprising is that the Palestinian Authority leadership, which often boasts that Palestinians living under its jurisdiction enjoy freedom of expression and democracy, is continuing to lie not only to its constituents, but also to the Western media and international donors about its human rights record.
The PA has been successful in diverting attention from these problems by putting all the blame on Israel. As far as the PA is concerned, Israel alone is responsible for human rights violations and assaults on freedom of expression and the media.
Evidently, most Western journalists, governments and human rights groups have chosen to endorse the Palestinian Authority's stance that the only evil-doers are the Israelis. And that is precisely why the ICHR report about the anarchy, lawlessness and human rights violations by the PA and Hamas will be completely ignored in the West.
Reader comments on this item
|ICHR Members are brave [65 words]||Bart Benschop||Feb 12, 2014 03:44|
|Palestinians [20 words]||Fritz Kohlhaas||Feb 12, 2014 02:41|
|Whither Thou Goest [18 words]||Beatrix139||Feb 12, 2014 01:52|
|The media makes it very evident that the Palestinian Authorities commit rights violations! [58 words]||Will Knutsen||Feb 12, 2014 01:20|
|Lies are holy in Islam [60 words]||Ronit||Feb 11, 2014 17:07|
|The evolution of "If it bleeds, it leads" [18 words]||Gary Katz||Feb 11, 2014 12:35|
|Tweeting [18 words]||Chaya||Feb 11, 2014 09:51|
|Re: Palestinian Authority Human Rights Violations Ignored by Media, West [78 words]||Dirk de Wilde||Feb 11, 2014 09:43|
|How many honor killings? [343 words]||Jeb Stuart||Feb 11, 2014 09:31|
|Media's war against Israel [108 words]||Robert Davis||Feb 11, 2014 09:16|
Comment on this item
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Pierre Rehov
For terrorists, the death of innocent children is irrelevant. In a society that promotes martyrdom as the ultimate sign of success, the death of innocent children can sometimes even be seen as a public relations blessing.
In every action, intent is paramount. There should never be a moral equivalence painted between the deliberate killing of civilians, and a retaliation that tragically leads to casualties among civilians.
There is, however, one small difference: in the Middle East, reporters are threatened, except in Israel. Their choice becomes a simple one: promote the Palestinian point of view or stop working in the West Bank. Keep the eye of the camera dirty or lose your job. This show should not go on.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
Since 1948, the Arab countries and government have been paying mostly lip service to the Palestinians.
"They have money and oil, but don't care about the Palestinians, even though we are Arabs and Muslims like them. What a Saudi or Qatari sheikh spends in one night in London, Paris or Las Vegas could solve the problem of tens of thousands of Palestinians." — Palestinian human rights activist.
"Some Arabs were hoping that Israel would rid them of Hamas." — Ashraf Salameh, Gaza City.
"Some of the Arab regimes are interested in getting rid of the resistance in order to remove the burden of the Palestinian cause, which threatens the stability of their regimes." — Mustafa al-Sawwaf, Palestinian political analyst.
"Most Arabs are busy these days with bloody battles waged by their leaders, who are struggling to survive. These battles are raging in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya and the Palestinian Authority." — Mohammed al-Musafer, columnist.
"The Arab leaders don't know what they want from the Gaza Strip. They don't even know what they want from Israel." — Yusef Rizka, Hamas official.
by Soeren Kern
European elites, who take pride in viewing the EU as a "postmodern" superpower, have long argued that military hard-power is illegitimate in the 21st century. Unfortunately for Europe, Russia (along with China and Iran) has not embraced the EU's fantastical soft-power worldview, in which "climate change" is now said to pose the greatest threat to European security.
For its part, the European Commission, the EU's administrative branch, which never misses an opportunity to boycott institutions in Israel, has issued only a standard statement on the shooting down of MH17 in Ukraine, which reads: "The European Union will continue to follow this issue very closely."
The EU has made only half-hearted attempts to develop alternatives to its dependency on Russian oil and gas.
by Shoshana Bryen
Proportionality in international law is not about equality of death or civilian suffering, or even about [equality of] firepower. Proportionality weighs the necessity of a military action against suffering that the action might cause to enemy civilians in the vicinity.
"Under international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute, the death of civilians during an armed conflict, no matter how grave and regrettable does not constitute a war crime.... even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur. A crime occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians (principle of distinction) or an attack is launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality)." — Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court.
"The greater the military advantage anticipated, the larger the amount of collateral damage -- often civilian casualties -- which will be "justified" and "necessary." — Dr. Françoise Hampton, University of Essex, UK.