Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) states that the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) brutal demolishment of Palestinians’ homes and camps is exactly similar to the occupying force’s own actions, such that the PA is itself grave danger to Palestinian citizens.
AOHR UK notes that on Wednesday 29 September, Authority-affiliated state groups demolished 15 homes owned by Palestinian Bedouin families, in the town of al-Nuweimah, north of Jericho in the occupied West Bank. The demolishment happened without warning.
According to Nuweimah residents, Authority-affiliated groups made an impromptu arrival with demolition equipment, and proceeded to destroy their homes – including furniture inside – without providing alternative housing.
AOHR UK points out that Nuweima Bedouins were evicted from their lands and homes in 2002 by the Israeli occupation. Subsequently, as per the Oslo Agreement, the then-Governor of Jerusalem, Jamil Othman Nasser, oversaw their transfer to “Area B”, to the town of al-Nuweima, where they gained officially-recognised ownership of plots of land.
Yet, the PA has not stopped its harassment of the residents of al-Nuweima since they forced moved. Neither has it provided them with either water and electricity. And, in 2019 it confiscated approximately 300 dunams (acres) of their lands, transforming them for military use – and without granting those Palestinian citizens alternative lands. Some of those lands have been transferred to officers, who have in turn sold at massively increased prices.
More generally, the Palestinian Authority’s security services have continued their campaign of arbitrary arrests against Palestinian activists, the most prominent recent example of which is the arrest of Hussein Banat, a key witness in the case of the PA forces’ assassination of opposition activist Nizar Banat in his home south Hebron. Hussein was to appear as a witness in the case against Nizar’s assassins.
AOHR UK has added that such abuses come at the same moment that the Israeli occupation has escalated its own campaign against Palestinian people, with murders, demolitions, confiscations, and settlement construction all increasing – all whilst the daily crimes of settlers against Palestinians continue.
AOHR UK affirms that the PA proves day after day that it is no less dangerous to Palestinians than the occupation itself – one that aims to erase everything of Palestine from the land.
Therefore AOHR UK calls on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an investigation into the numerous human rights abuses committed in historic Palestine over the last period, in order that the leaders of the occupation are forced to take responsibility for their crimes.
It also calls on the European Union, the Palestinian Authority’s chief supporter, to pressure the PA to respect international laws and treaties, under the threat of ceasing all forms of aid – and hence end the unacceptable situation of the Palestinian people being under the whip of both the occupation, and the Palestinian Authority.