Palestinian Human Rights Abuses Revealed

Monday, March 09, 2015 |  David Lazarus

“Hidden Injustices” remains the title of a groundbreaking and now updated report uncovering the extensive, atrocious and “hidden” abuses of human rights by the Palestinian Authority.

Palestinian censorship and threats of retribution have traditionally prevented most human rights organizations and governments from revealing the full-blown picture of the suffering of the Palestinian people by their own leadership.

Researchers at the Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ) spent hundreds of hours documenting the PA’s state sponsored abuse of human rights of the Palestinian people. “Sadly the Palestinian people have been (and remain) subject to numerous, severe violations of basic (human) rights —not primarily at the hands of Israelis, but from their own leaders,” concludes the bold and extensive report subtitled, “Palestinian Authority and Hamas Human Rights Violations in the West Bank and Gaza.”

Headed by Adv. Calev Myers, an Israeli human rights lawyer who has done much to defend the local Messianic Jewish community, the JIJ hopes the 57-page account of Palestinian human rights violations and an accompanying 32-page review dealing with the lack of religious freedom will convince the US Congress and the European Parliament that the billions given each year to support the PA must stop and be contingent on “their long-term commitment to better human rights conditions for their own people.”

In spite of the atrocious way in which the PA and Hamas treat their own people, “the Palestinians received aid exceeding 15 times the amount per person granted by the US Marshall Plan for the post-World War II reconstruction of Europe,” notes the JIJ report.

Here are a few examples taken from the report detailing Palestinian human rights abuses in the following categories:

Arbitrary imprisonment: In 2012, the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) received complaints of 1,000 arrests in the West Bank and more than 750 in Gaza. Most of these are political arrests of reporters, teachers, university professors, students, mosque imams and others who opposed the reigning government.

Extrajudicial killings: In 2014, after the August 21st Israeli airstrike on three top Hamas militants in Gaza, Hamas quickly retaliated against its own people by carrying out 25 summary executions against alleged "collaborators." The killings were performed by masked gunmen in-or-near public parks and squares.

Torture and inhumane treatment: ‘Suspects’ of crimes against the government are beaten with sticks or electric cables; their arms are forced behind their back and their bodies suspended in mid-air until their shoulders are dislocated

Excessive force against peaceful protestors: Beatings with batons, punching, and breaking journalist’s equipment have been reported as commonplace at what are described as peaceful demonstrations, while plain-clothes policemen target women demonstrators for punitive, gender-specific violence.

Freedom of religion and the rights of minorities: Hamas members set fire to a bookstore belonging to the Bible Society and later kidnapped the storeowner in the middle of the night. His body was found mutilated and dumped in a nearby field.

Freedom of association: In the spirit of Hamas policy, in May 2010, a masked gunman, who accused the UN of promoting immoral values, attacked a summer camp for children operated by the UN in the Gaza Strip.

Freedom of the press: On March 26, 2012, the PA detained journalist Yusuf al-Shayeb following the publication of his article criticizing Palestinian government officials for corruption, spying, and nepotism.

Women’s rights: A wide range of human rights abuses are committed against women for such offenses as immodest dress, sex outside marriage or taking initiative to marry or divorce. These abuses include the so-called honor killings of women caught in adultery.

Children’s rights: Teaching children to violently blow themselves to pieces, to become child soldiers or to act as human shields, through their school textbooks, radio, television and print media, by religious clerics, schoolteachers and by their political leaders, is the main contributor to the manufacturing of terrorism. Such practices are a most egregious form of child abuse akin to mass infanticide.

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