On Sunday, 12 December 2021, the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces in the occupied West Bank have launched a chilling campaign of repression cracking down on peaceful protests with unlawful force, targeting a funeral of the Palestinian Jamil Al-Kayyal, who was shot killed by Israeli fire in Nablus.
PA security forces fired heavy tear gas bombs at thousands of mourners, sparking a state of panic and tension among them.
Dozens of mourners suffered teargas inhalation during the attack, eyewitnesses reported.
In a separate incident, PA forces violently attacked, in Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, a large group of people gathering to celebrate the Palestinian prisoner Obada Qunais’s release from Israeli jails after spending 12 months behind Israeli bars.
Banners and flags were also confiscated during the attack, while many of the participants were severely beaten and injured.
In a similar attack, PA forces in Tulkarem attack another group of people celebrating the Palestinian prisoner Muhammad Aref’s release after 19 years in Israeli custody.
Several people, including an ex-prisoner, were injured and taken to hospital following the attack.
The European Union Representative has earlier issued a statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah, criticising the increase in apparently politically motivated arrests by the Palestinian Authority over the past few months.
The EU missions called on the Palestinian Authority to meet the standards of the International Human Rights conventions to which they have acceded, including on freedom of expression, as well as freedom of association and assembly.
Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) calls on the Palestinian Authority to stop its crackdown on political activists in the West Bank.
AOHR UK also calls on the donor countries to make real pressures on the Palestinian Authority until accountability, respect for human rights, freedom of assembly and association, and freedom of expression are ensured.