Arab Organisation for the Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) declares that Facebook’s statement confirming the involvement of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Palestinian Preventive Security (PPS) service in a cyber espionage program, aimed at activist and journalists, proves that the PA is nothing but a tool to suppress those activists, and protect the Israeli occupation.
Facebook issued an official statement last week stating that it had detected two hacking groups within Palestine belonging to the PPS, both aiming to penetrate Palestinians’ Facebook accounts. The first group focused on citizens within Palestine, and the second on the accounts of Palestinians living in Syria, Libya, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq.
AOHR UK underlines that the PA’s failure to investigate the Preventive Security Service project, as it spies on Palestinian citizens within and outside the country, is strong evidence of its own responsibility for the project and its numerous violations.
AOHR UK denounces the PA’s abuse of its citizens, doubling their suffering at a time when Israeli repression is worsening, and warns of increased arrests of opponents of the occupation and other activists over the coming period – all as a result of these unlawful practices.
AOHR UK argues further that the timing of the violations and the forthcoming elections is no coincidence, and that the PA’s targeting of those resisting the occupation is clear evidence of security cooperation with the occupying force.
The PA is clearly encroaching on the personal and public freedoms of Palestinian citizens, violating the sanctity of their private lives – a crime according to the PA’s own Fundamental Law, Article 32.
AOHR UK demands that the European Union (EU) and all governments supporting the PA take the necessary measures in regards to these violations, and to put pressure on the PA to cease all forms of espionage against Palestinian citizens.