Report: Human Rights Violations Increasing in Palestinian Territories

A recent report from a Palestinian human rights group shows a sharp rise in human rights violations in areas under Palestinian control. A report published yesterday by the Ramallah-based Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), “offers a hint at the kind of scrutiny the Palestinian Authority might face after joining United Nations agencies and treaties this year.”

The report documents “497 allegations of torture and ill treatment” in 2013, as opposed to 294 cases in 2012. The Los Angeles Times reports further:

The Palestinian Authority submitted papers April 2 to join 15 international treaties as part of a drive to assert statehood, after the U.N. in 2012 upgraded the authority’s status to non-member observer state. The treaty signatures scuttled talks with Israel.

“Palestine will be now obliged to present periodical reports on what measures it is taking to eliminate torture to show that it is committed to the Convention Against Torture,” said Randa Siniora, executive director of ICHR.

While a majority of the cases reported by ICHR occurred in Hamas-ruled Gaza, attacks on journalists and arbitrary detentions were up sharply in both the West Bank and Gaza.

After sabotaging the negotiations with Israel, as part of his strategy of internationalizing the conflict with Israel, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed on to 15 international treaties. The PA was already in violation of 11 of those treaties, including one on torture. While a number of human rights groups are encouraging the PA to join the International Criminal Court, the former chief prosecutor of that court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, urged the Palestinians not to seek membership as membership is likely to put the PA in legal jeopardy.

[Photo: Matteo Parrini / Flickr ]