The PA condemns Israel’s attacks on Palestinians, then attacks them itself

Motasem A Dalloul 

Middle East Monitor  /  October 14, 2022

On Wednesday the Palestinian Authority (PA) condemned Israeli “crimes” against the Palestinian people. Commenting on the Israeli killing of a Palestinian youth in the occupied West Bank, the PA condemned “the unbearable daily aggression of the Israeli occupation.”

In a statement the PA’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said the occupation state’s killing of a Palestinian youth was “a new crime” and said the Israeli government had authorized occupation forces and settler violations against Palestinians.

Another statement issued on the same day by the PA ministerial council warned against “Israel’s escalating crimes,” citing “the collective punishment and unlawful blockades imposed on Palestinian cities, villages and refugee camps in Jerusalem and Nablus.” It urged the international community to urgently intervene to protect the Palestinian people, in occupied Jerusalem, Nablus, Jenin and Gaza.

The PA said that “collective punishment is a war crime and a form of persecution and is an affront to the elementary principles of humanity, dignity and rule of law.” In response to the Israeli crimes, the PA ministerial council said that the international community “should take all measures, including sanctions” to push Israel to stop its “crimes and aggression.” At the same time, PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said he was “conducting intensive contacts with the relevant parties to stop the Israeli escalation against the Palestinian people.”

The PA president described the Israeli occupation’s escalation against the Palestinian people as “dangerous” and stressed that the international community, particularly the US administration, “must promptly intervene to stop this ongoing Israeli escalation before it is too late.”

Though the statements released by the PA hold true, what is shocking is that they are released as the PA’s security services are working to attack Palestinians and carry out the same aggression against them.

Like the occupation state of Israel, the PA has several prisons across the occupied West Bank to hold Palestinians and it detains them for the same reasons. On 20 September, the PA security services arrested Musab Shtayyeh and Ameed Tabila in the West Bank city of Nablus for their resistance of the Israeli occupation.

The PA then violently cracked down on popular protests against the arrest of the two men, killing a 53-year-old Palestinian man from the city of Nablus and the injuring more than 15 others.

Less than a day after the killing of the 53-year-old Palestinian man, the PA security services launched a new arrest campaign in Nablus, and arrested more than 12 Palestinians for their involvement in the anti-PA protests. The PA claimed that they were being detained due to their involvement in acts of vandalism and robberies during the protests.

On Sunday, Musab Shtayyeh was transferred to hospital following the deterioration of his health due to mistreatment, his lawyer Mustafa Shatat said. “Musab Shtayyeh was tortured by the PA security services which detain him in Jericho Prison,” the lawyer said.

Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) documented 2,600 political detentions carried out by the PA in the occupied West Bank between 2015 and 2021. At least 60 per cent of them were harshly tortured. Of course, all of them were detained illegally. All were held by the PA over their resistance of the Israeli occupation.

So, the PA arrests, detains, tortures, prosecutes and even kills Palestinians for the same reason Israel does. In an obvious display of irony, the PA’s Foreign Ministery said: “The Palestinian people will continue to collectively persist and exercise their legitimate right to resist Israel’s crimes until their fundamental rights are realized, respected and upheld.”

Until the PA stops its security cooperation with the Israeli occupation, people will be unable to trust its angry statements against the Israeli aggression. Security cooperation is joint PA-Israeli action against Palestinian rights and the resistance. The PA cannot condemn Israel’s actions and operate in the same way itself.

Motasem A Dalloul is MEMO’s correspondent in the Gaza Strip