By Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute—
While international “human rights” organizations such as Amnesty International make false and baseless claims against Israel, most continue intentionally and systematically to ignore the human rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority (PA).
A report published on January 29 by the Palestinian NGO International Commission to Support Palestinian Rights (ICSPR), which seeks to raise awareness of human rights among Palestinians, revealed that the year 2021 witnessed severe setbacks in the exercise of public rights and freedoms under the PA in the West Bank.
Ironically, human rights violations increased after PA President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree on February 20, 2021 for boosting public freedoms ahead of the Palestinian parliamentary and presidential elections, which were supposed to take place on May 22 and July 30 respectively. Abbas later called off the elections, apparently out of fear that his ruling Fatah faction was set to lose the parliamentary vote, as it did in the last election in 2006.
Abbas’s decree called for “establishing an atmosphere of public freedoms in all the territories of Palestine, including the freedom to practice political and national activities.” The decree also called for “banning the detention, arrest, prosecution of, or holding to account, individuals for reasons relating to the freedom of opinion and political affiliation.”
The ICSPR report, however, found that despite the decree, last year sustained “grave violations and abuses” against Palestinians in the West Bank by the PA and its security forces.
The violations and abuses, according to the report, include Abbas’s decision to call off the elections on the pretext that Israel refused to allow the vote to take place in Jerusalem. Abbas had cited Israel’s alleged refusal as the only reason for his controversial decision to postpone the elections indefinitely. Continue Reading…