Amnesty Report Criticizes Palestinian Authority Rights Violations

(Covering events from January - December 2002)

Excerpts


Palestinian members of armed groups attacked Israeli soldiers and civilians. They killed more than 420 Israelis, including some 180 Israeli civilians within Israel and more than 80 Israeli civilians in the Occupied Territories, and injured thousands of other people. Their deliberate targeting of civilians constituted crimes against humanity.

The main armed groups involved in the attacks were the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (an offshoot of Fatah), Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas), Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

President Yasser Arafat and other Palestinian Authority (PA) officials routinely condemned suicide bombings and other killings and attacks against Israelis and called on Palestinian armed groups to put an end to such attacks. However, in the overwhelming majority of cases those responsible for ordering or planning such attacks were not brought to justice and no investigations were known to have been carried out....

Palestinian State Security Courts sentenced at least 13 people to death after unfair and summary trials. Three of them, who were convicted of ordinary criminal offences, were executed. Another was killed by security forces, allegedly while he was trying to escape from prison. Nine of those sentenced to death were accused of treason and "collaboration" with Israeli intelligence services. Those sentenced to death are not entitled to appeal against the sentence, and can be executed when the sentence is ratified by the PA's President. During 2002, President Arafat did not ratify any death sentences passed on alleged "collaborators."...

Scores of Palestinians suspected of "collaboration" with Israeli intelligence services were unlawfully killed. Most of these killings seemed to have been carried out by members of armed groups or by armed individuals. Some appeared to be extrajudicial executions carried out by members of Palestinian security services. The PA consistently failed to investigate these killings and none of the perpetrators was brought to justice....


Source: Amnesty International