Amnesty International has urged the Palestinian Authority to “reverse” an “appalling deterioration of human rights”, in a statement issued yesterday.
The global rights group made the call as a new government headed by Mohammad Shtayyeh prepares to take the reins in Ramallah.
On 29 January, President Mahmoud Abbas accepted the resignation of the national consensus government led by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, which had been in power since June 2014.
“The new government formation follows a Supreme Constitutional Court decision on December 12, 2018, to dissolve the Palestinian Legislative Council, which is dominated by Hamas, and hold legislative elections within six months,” Amnesty explained.
According to Amnesty, since June 2014, “when the national consensus government led by former Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah came to power”, the group has “documented escalating human rights violations by Palestinian security forces in the West Bank.”
“These include excessive use of force, arbitrary arrests, the use of torture and other forms of ill-treatment leading to deaths in custody, and an intensified crackdown on freedom of expression and civil society,” Amnesty added.
Saleh Higazi, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Amnesty International, said: “The new government must signal a sincere commitment to respecting its international human rights obligations by taking immediate steps to ensure that all laws and policies protect the rights and liberties of individuals under its authority.”
“The near-total lack of accountability under previous governments has fuelled a climate of impunity which has encouraged the continued use of excessive force and other abuses by Palestinian police and other security forces today,” Higazi added.
“Palestinians, whose rights have already been routinely crushed by Israel’s occupation, must not be brutalised and repressed by their own government. The new government must take effective measures to improve the human rights of all its people.”