Friday, January 17, 2020

Elections, the Palestinians and Europe's Not So Secret Agenda - by Khaled Abu Toameh

The European Union is said to be pressuring the Palestinians to hold long overdue presidential and parliamentary elections. It is not clear, however, how the Palestinians would hold new elections at a time when the PA and Hamas are busy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip locking up their political opponents.

Khaled Abu Toameh..
Gatestone Institute..
16 January '20

For many years, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and other Palestinian parties have been reporting on a daily basis about Palestinians who are arrested by the Israeli authorities in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. These Palestinians are arrested on suspicion of involvement in anti-Israel security offences. There is nothing unusual about these arrests, which have been taking place for decades and are even publicly announced by the Israeli authorities.

While Israel apprehends Palestinians suspected of involvement in various anti-Israel activities, including terrorism, many other Palestinians are being arrested on almost a daily basis by the PA security forces in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. These arrests, however, are infrequently publicized by the PA and Hamas. Palestinians learn about the arrests by the PA and Hamas from social media postings or non-Palestinian news websites.

The PA and Hamas do not like to talk about the Palestinians targeted by their security forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Why? Most of these Palestinians are arrested for their political affiliation and opinions, and not for violating the law or involvement in violence and terrorism.

Palestinian human rights organization and activists describe the detention of these Palestinians as "political arrests." That means that the Palestinians are being arrested by the PA and Hamas only for "politically motivated" reasons.

A recent report by the Human Rights Institutions Association (HRIA) revealed that in the past three months, the PA security forces have stepped up politically motivated arrests in the West Bank. The group noted that the arrests came despite PA President Mahmoud Abbas's initiative to hold new Palestinian general elections.

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