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PA human rights violations are "the worst they’ve been in years", says Lawyers for Justice

Headline: "Lawyers for Justice: Human rights in the West Bank are in the worst state they have been in years”



“The Lawyers for Justice group said today, Friday [July 23, 2021], that it has documented more than 100 cases of political arrests that were carried out by the [PA] Security Forces in the West Bank since May [2021].

The group added in a press release that it has documented cases in which detainees were tortured or mistreated during their time in the [PA] Security Forces’ detention centers, and some of these cases were documented during interrogations at the Jericho attorney’s office, without this attorney’s office committing to launch any kind of investigation regarding these claims in accordance with the law.

The group continued: ‘The state of human rights in the West Bank is in the worst deterioration that is has been for years.’

The group condemned ‘the state that affairs have come to after the killing of regime opponent [Nizar] Banat (see note below -Ed.) and the campaign of arrests that preceded this, in which dozens were arrested for realizing freedom of expression following the “Jerusalem Sword” battle (refers to violent Arab riots; see note below -Ed.).’

The group emphasized the bad state of human rights in the cities that are subordinate to the PA’s rule, and explained that ‘this stems from a number of reasons, including the ongoing official discourse of incitement that has been and is being carried out by individuals appointed by the PA.’”



PA critic and activist Nizar Banat died after being violently beaten and arrested by PA Security Forces in Hebron on June 24, 2021.

Fatah/Hamas Riot and Rocket War 2021 – On April 30, 2021, facing certain electoral defeat, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas cancelled the first PA elections scheduled in 15 years. Hamas, which expected to win the elections, denounced it as a “coup.” In need of a conflict to divert public discontent, Abbas artificially generated a crisis over Jerusalem. His Fatah party called for "raising the level of confrontation,” and Abbas' spokesman told Palestinians "the battle of all battles is here.” Jerusalem Arabs responded by attacking Jews with rocks and Molotov cocktails. Hamas, Abbas' political rival, could not allow Abbas to lead the battle, so on May 10, 2021, Hamas launched rocket barrages targeting Israeli population centers including Jerusalem. Over the next 11 days, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired over 4,300 rockets into southern and central Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing 9 Israelis and 3 foreign nationals, and wounding hundreds. In response, Israel launched Operation Guardian of the Walls to target Hamas terror leaders and terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. Already in mid-April, a planned eviction of some Palestinian families illegally living in Jewish-owned buildings in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem had led to clashes between Palestinian residents and Israeli police. This dispute provided Palestinians with a pretext for violent rioting. Adding to the crisis, Israeli Arabs started rioting throughout Israel, especially in cities with a mixed Jewish and Arab population. Two Jews were murdered and many were wounded. According to Walla, an independent Israeli news site, 10 synagogues were wholly or partly burned down; fires were set in 112 Jewish homes and 1 Arab home mistaken for a Jewish home; 386 Jewish homes were plundered and 673 were damaged; 849 cars were set ablaze; and there were 5,018 rock-throwing attacks. In response, Jews started attacking Arabs and their properties as well, but on a much smaller scale. No mosques were burned; 13 Arab homes were damaged; 13 Arab-owned cars were burned; and there were 41 rock-throwing attacks by Jews. [Walla, May 16, 2021] The fighting between Israel and Hamas ended with a ceasefire on May 21, 2021.

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