Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) notes that the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) security services’ campaigns of arbitrary arrests and torture continue – in parallel with similar campaigns by Israeli occupation forces – across the occupied West Bank.
The PA’s arrests typically occur during night-time raids involving intimidation and vandalism, and often amount to kidnapping, whether from homes, the street, workplaces, and even schools.
Many of those detained by the PA are subjected to severe torture and various forms of degrading treatment, in particular those who are transferred to a prison in Jericho known as ‘the slaughterhouse.’
Since the beginning of the year, the people of Jenin and its attached refugee camps have been subjected to massive repression by Israeli forces, including the killing of 30 Palestinians (amongst whom were children) and the demolishing of numerous homes, all with the acceptance of PA forces stationed there.
And indeed, since the beginning of the year, PA security forces have continued their own campaign of arrests in the city, targeting activists and journalists in particular. Over the past three days, PA forces have arrested Palestinian citizens Osama Jaayseh, Mahmoud al-Arqawi, Yazan Suqia, and three brothers, Ziyad, Ibrahim and Ahmed al-Qunairi.
Jenin is not the only city that continues to suffer from PA repression. This year at least eight Palestinian citizens have been arrested by PA forces and detained for an extended period: Khaled Nawabit, Qassam Hamayel, Jihad Sari Wahdan and his brother Saad Sari Wahdan, Ahmed Noah Harish, Alaa Ghanem, Ahmed Khaseeb, Munther Raheeb.
The PA boasts six security agencies: intelligence, preventive security, military intelligence, the National Security Forces (NSF), the presidential guard, and the police, which are together comprised of more than 80,000 individuals and with a budget estimated at more than US$1.2 billion, exceeding that of the education and agriculture ministries. The PA’s functional role is to protect Israeli occupation forces and criminal settlers against the Palestinian population.
Given this, AOHR UK again calls on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the systematic use of torture by those agencies, and in particular by preventive security and intelligence.
AOHR UK also calls on the PA’s donors, especially the European Union (EU), to cease funding those agencies, given their routine flouting of international laws.
International donors’ continued support for the PA’s security agencies and general failure to reform them – with the ultimate aim, of having them serve Palestinian citizens – make those same donors complicit in the PA’s crimes.