Photo Credit: Michael Jacobson via Wikimedia
Beit Romano, Kiryat Arba, Hebron

The leftist human rights organization Amnesty International has accused Israel of violating the rights of Palestinian Authority citizens during the year 2017-2018, including those of children. The group said torture and other ill-treatment of detainees, including children “remained pervasive and was committed with impunity” by Israel, among the litany of crimes it listed in its 2017-2018 Annual Report.

“June marked 50 years since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories and the start of the 11th year of its illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip, subjecting approximately 2 million inhabitants to collective punishment and a growing humanitarian crisis,” the organization alleged in its initial summary for Israel and the Palestinian Authority on page 207 of its report.

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“The Israeli authorities intensified expansion of settlements and related infrastructure across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and severely restricted the freedom of movement of Palestinians,” the report complained.

“Israeli forces unlawfully killed Palestinian civilians, including children, and unlawfully detained within Israel thousands of Palestinians from the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), holding hundreds in administrative detention without charge or trial.

“Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees, including children, remained pervasive and was committed with impunity,” the NGO wrote.

“Israel continued to demolish Palestinian homes in the West Bank and in Palestinian villages inside Israel, forcibly evicting residents. Conscientious objectors to military service were imprisoned. Thousands of African asylum-seekers were threatened with deportation.”

Amnesty International failed to note that the same administrative detentions are also been used against Jewish Israeli “hilltop youth” as well; nor were there any protests by the NGO on behalf of Jewish victims of terror as well as those held in administrative detention.

It’s also not clear why Amnesty International referred to “Palestinian villages within Israel” – an oxymoron – or why it later talked about citizens of the Negev as “Palestinians” since Negev Bedouin are Israeli citizens; almost none identify as Palestinian Authority Arabs, other than those who intermarried with Negev Bedouin and thus became Israelis.

In addition, though Amnesty International does point out that “Palestinians carried out stabbings, car-rammings, shootings and other attacks against Israelis in the West Bank and in Israel,” the group then seems to excuse – inaccurately – the slaughter by saying “The attacks, mostly carried out by individuals unaffiliated to armed groups, killed 14 Israelis and one foreign national. Israeli forces killed 76 Palestinians and one foreign national. Some were unlawfully killed while posing no threat to life.”

In fact, most of the terror attacks carried out by Palestinian Authority citizens were committed by those either linked to armed terrorist groups or directly inspired by them.

Moreover, trying to compare the numbers on a “scorecard” to determine which death toll is more tragic is a cynical exercise in futility.

The NGO Monitor watchdog organization likewise noted, “Amnesty’s 2017 report is rife with distortions and maintains the group’s longstanding anti-Israel bias. That the Israel section is longer than those on Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, laughably suggests that there are greater human rights issues in Israel than in those countries.

“One problematic section notes that “Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and board member of the NGO Addameer, and Addameer staff member Salah Hammouri, remained in administrative detention at the end of the year.” It fails to mention that these are both members of the PFLP terror organization, Jarrar being a senior official, and Hamouri having been jailed for attempting to assassinate Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef,” the NGO Monitor points out.

Another section claims that “Many protesters threw rocks or other projectiles but were posing no threat to the lives of well-protected Israeli soldiers when they were shot.” This thinking both excuses violence while creating a baseless standard that prevents Israeli forces from protecting themselves and others,” said NGO Monitor.

The bottom line remains that there would be no death toll whatsoever, were there no terror attacks to begin with, and were there no mob violence and rioting Arabs attacking the Israeli security forces who then come to arrest those who try to murder Israelis.

Amnesty International continues to ignore this basic bit of reality, as does the United Nations, UNRWA, and much of the world.

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