Israeli authorities are committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution against millions of Palestinians. While living under Israeli apartheid and occupation, Palestinians in the West Bank – which remains under the effective control of Israel, the Occupying Power – also face a repressive police state administered by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its security forces.
In June 2021, Palestinian activist and PA critic Nizar Banat was killed in custody shortly after PA forces arrested and beat him in Hebron in the occupied West Bank. In the months since, the PA has violently dispersed popular protests demanding justice for Banat’s death and rounded up scores of Palestinians for peacefully protesting, holding them on political charges including insulting “higher authorities” and creating “sectarian strife” that effectively criminalize peaceful assembly and expression.
While human rights groups have documented that Israeli authorities have detained Palestinians belonging to a group or political movement they oppose, the PA has also systematically arbitrarily arrested, mistreated and tortured dissidents and opponents on similar grounds.
To address the root causes of the prolonged denial of Palestinian rights, member states should end support for Israel’s apartheid.
Member states should also ensure that their engagement with the PA, including the Palestinian security forces, be reevaluated in a manner that supports and feeds into the fulfilment of Palestinians’ fundamental rights.
States should also support the International Criminal Court’s investigation in Palestine and to hold to account perpetrators of serious international crimes, including apartheid, persecution and systematic arbitrary arrests and torture.
The Palestinian Authority and the international community should support the Palestinian calls for a renewed and inclusive political representation and ensure that all Palestinians are able to vote and be elected through genuine periodic elections.
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
Human Rights Watch