HRW: Fatah, Hamas carry out serious human rights abuses
Palestinian security forces loyal to Hamas and Fatah have both carried out serious human rights abuses over the past year, including arbitrary arrests and torture, according to a fresh report. Human Rights Watch, in the report released on Wednesday, cited a pattern of politically motivated arrests, mock executions and severe beatings in detention centres run by Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Fatah faction in the West Bank.
It faulted the United States and other donors, which have bankrolled President Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority and Fatah-dominated security agencies, for "not paying adequate attention to the systematic abuses by those forces".
Internal tensions have spiked again after a bomb blast killed five Hamas members and a girl in the Gaza Strip on Friday. Hundreds of Hamas and Fatah supporters have since been detained in both territories in tit-for-tat crackdowns.
Most abuse cases documented by Human Rights Watch in the West Bank involved the General Intelligence and Preventive Security services. Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said Western powers should make support conditional on Abbas's security forces on "stopping torture and other serious abuses".
According to Reuters, Stork said money and training should not go to forces that ignored Palestinian or international human rights law, adding that Hamas's backers should likewise make aid conditional on reforms "to avoid complicity with human rights violations".
Meanwhile, Hamas spoke harshly Tuesday against the serious repercussions of the ongoing political arrests in occupied West Bank, highlighting that this would lead to a new intifada against the Israeli occupation and its security agents.
In a press conference, Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, called on the Palestinian people in the West Bank to confront the PA security forces and their operations carried out in coordination with the Israeli occupation against Palestinian resistance fighters.
Dr. Abu Zuhri underscored that the arrests taking place in the West Bank in addition to the complicity of the "Fatah-affiliated mutiny trend in the Gaza beach massacre" dealt a considerable blow to the national reconciliation efforts and proved that all the statements made by Abbas about dialogue are meaningless.
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