Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) called on the European Union, as the main funder of the Palestinian Authority, to investigate assaults by the PA’s security services, which routinely arrest and prevent public demonstrations and raid homes just as the occupation does.
On May 5, 2021, PA carried out the most recent attack by security personnel on the house of the political activist Nizar Banat, candidate of the Freedom and Dignity electoral list. They terrorized his wife and three children and damaged the contents of the house.
On May 01, the General Prosecution summoned Banat for criticizing the Palestinian President’s decision to postpone the elections.
On the next day, PA security forces raided Banat’s house in his absence, in the city of Dura, south of Hebron governorate. The attack happened with live ammunition and stun grenades, with no consideration of the wife’s health conditions, as she gave birth to her newborn recently and was infected with the Coronavirus. The forces destroyed the contents of the house, broke windows and doors, and threw tear gas canisters inside the house.
Banat, an outspoken critic of the political and security policies of the PA and has been arrested many times before.
AOHR UK stressed that the actions took against Banat clearly violate the amended Palestinian Basic Law, which provides in Article 19 that “Freedom of opinion may not be prejudiced. Every person shall have the right to express his opinion and to circulate it orally, in writing or in any form of expression or art, with due consideration to the provisions of the law.”
AOHR UK also stressed the necessity of respecting the civil and political rights of the Palestinians, especially in light of the escalating crimes by the occupation, adding that restrictions on activists and opinion-holders would negatively affect the Palestinian cause, which needs more than ever before to respect public freedoms to unite people to confront the fierce attacks of the occupation forces and settlers.
AOHR UK stressed that it is totally unacceptable for the EU to continue to financially support a repressive authority that commits various crimes against people who are under occupation, and it doubles their suffering. It emphasized that the support given to the political system should be conditional on respecting public rights and freedoms.