Sunday, December 26, 2010

US, EU Support Violations of Human Rights as Palestinian Authority Escalates Repression, Brutality

Khaled Abu Toameh
Hudson New York
25 December '10

On a number of occasions over the past two years, Palestinians who protested in public against the policies of the Palestinian Authority have been assaulted and beaten by US-trained Palestinian policemen. Palestinian journalists and human rights activists who tried to document these assaults have also been beaten.

Abbas and Fayyad have not hesitated to use violence against their critics. Many of those who spent time in Palestinian prisons and detention centers in the West Bank say they were subjected there to various methods of torture.

One can understand why a radical movement like Hamas would want to crack down on freedoms in the Gaza Strip, but what one cannot understand is why the Palestinian Authority, which relies heavily on US and EU taxpayer money for its survival, is allowed to get away with human rights violations.

In the West Bank, the Western-funded government of Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad has been waging a campaign aimed at silencing the opposition and intimidating journalists. The Palestinian Authority claims that the crackdown is necessary to thwart any attempt by Hamas to extend its control to the West Bank.

As a result of this campaign, hundreds -- some says thousands -- of Palestinians are being held without trial in Palestinian Authority prisons in the West Bank. Among the detainees are university students and lecturers, journalists and political activists suspected of being affiliated with Hamas and other Palestinian opposition groups.

Even Palestinian government employees are now complaining about the iron-fist policy of Abbas and Fayyad. In recent weeks, several employees said they received warnings from the Palestinian security services and senior Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah not to meet with "Jewish correspondents" or any other foreign journalist suspected of being "pro-Israel."

(Read full "US, EU Support Violations of Human Rights as Palestinian Authority Escalates Repression, Brutality")

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