Date: 27 June 2021
ICSPR: The current situation in the West Bank requires serious work to respect human rights, including stopping any illegal behavior against demonstrators and responding to their demands.
The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights “ICSPR” is following great concern the continuation of the security services’ attacks on participants, peaceful demonstrators and journalists in more than one governorate in the West Bank for the third day in a row, where the security services in the West Bank continued to practice systematic violations against demonstrators and journalists alike by beating them with batons and stones, dragging them on the ground, firing gas bombs intensively among the demonstrators, confiscating their phones and arresting some of them.
The observer of the events in the West Bank, knows for sure that they are proceeding in an escalating manner, which constitutes a real threat to civil peace, in light of the security incitement against the demonstrators, and this is confirmed by the bloody and violent events taking place in more than one governorate in the West Bank, because of the official insistence on following an approach based on the suppression of demonstrators and placing restrictions on citizens’ exercise of the right to peaceful assembly.
ICSPR stresses that the right to freedom of assembly, demonstration, peaceful protest and freedom of opinion and expression are guaranteed under the Palestinian Basic Law and in accordance with international human rights standards, and declares its support for the legitimate demands of the demonstrators, and demands all Palestinian categories to find a comprehensive solution to the crises that erupted with the security services’ killing of political activist Nizar Banat, and the previous postponement of the elections and attacks on some candidates and the continued arrests on political grounds that affected dozens of activists, ICSPR also stresses that the Palestinian presidency and government bear moral, legal and political responsibility for the unfortunate events that are taking place. Therefore:
• ICSPR calls on the security and police services in the West Bank to immediately cease any behavior that involves violating the rights of demonstrators, participants in peaceful gatherings, and journalists, and to carry out their legal duties towards their protection, and to work hard to enable citizens to exercise their legitimate rights in accordance with the law.
• ICSPR calls on President Abbas to act immediately and without delay or procrastination to refer the leaders of the security services, the members responsible for the murder of political activist Nizar Banat, and those who attacked the demonstrators, to the judiciary in order to hold them accountable, and to take serious measures to ensure that citizens enjoy the exercise of their legitimate rights.
• ICSPR calls to exert pressure to restore national unity and work to rebuild the institutions of the Palestinian political system based on a democratic transformation that guarantees pluralism, freedoms, the rule of law and human rights, including holding presidential, parliamentary, and National Council elections.
• ICSPR urges the Public Prosecution to open an investigation to find out the circumstances of all the violations that have been committed in recent days, and announce the results of its investigations to the public, and to bring the perpetrators of these violations to a fair trial.
• ICSPR calls on the competent authorities in the West Bank to stop attacking, harassing or threatening human rights activists and journalists, and to abide by the local and international legal standards set for the protection due to them.
• ICSPR urges the leadership of the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian factions, and the official and various media to stop spreading hate speech and incitement because of the dangers that this poses to civil peace.
• ICSPR affirms that the current circumstances require all Palestinians to comply with their national and moral duties, and to strive to transfer the current crisis from a reason to fight to a reason to dialogue and commitment to the rule of law, especially in light of the Israeli occupation forces continuing to commit more crimes against the Palestinian people and their sacred places.