Political arrests by PA continue to increase, lawyer says

Middle East Monitor  /  January 9, 2023

January has seen a significant increase in the number of political arrests in the West Bank by the Palestinian Authority’s security services, according to the Director of the Lawyers for Justice group, Muhannad Karajeh.

Karajeh told Safa news agency yesterday that the PA’s security services continue to arrest many released prisoners, political opponents, and human rights activists in the occupied West Bank.

He added that the PA’s security apparatuses are trying to intimidate them and terrorize political activists and opponents so as to eliminate their activities by accusing them of fabricated cases. The rights lawyer added that prisoners are subjected to “ill-treatment and torture” during detention.

He noted that 2023 does not appear to be promising judging by January’s numbers.

Karajeh stressed that political arrests have not stopped since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994, pointing out that their pace has increased, noting that the last three years witnessed a significant increase in the number of political detainees.

Human rights defenders have criticized the suppression of public freedoms and rise in the number of political arrests in the West Bank.

They warned that the suppression of freedoms and political arrests could result in the growth of hatred within society which may lead to an internal explosion that results in a confrontation between Palestinian citizens and the PA’s security services.