Israeli group brings torture allegations against Palestinian Authority, group files lawsuit with ICC

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An in Israel A legal network of lawyers and activists has filed an application with the International Criminal Court alleging systematic torture of Palestinians by a group that controls parts of the West Bank and its responsibility for capturing Israelis in the Gaza Strip.

The International Legal Forum claims that the Palestinian National Authority and its leadership, President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, regularly participate in torture Palestiniansincluding journalists, political opponents, dissidents, human rights activists, minors and members of the LGBTQ community.

The group calls on the ICC to launch an investigation into the allegations and hold PA leaders accountable.

“Enough. It is high time for the Palestinian Authority to be held accountable for the ongoing and systematic torture of the Palestinian people, as well as for the torture of four Israeli citizens currently held captive in Gaza,” ILF CEO. This is stated in the statement of Arsen Ostrovsky. “These are egregious and undeniable violations of international law that the ICC must investigate and prosecute.”

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks at a meeting of the Security Council at the UN headquarters.  The non-profit organization claims that the Palestinian Authority regularly tortures Palestinians.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks at a meeting of the Security Council at the UN headquarters. The non-profit organization claims that the Palestinian Authority regularly tortures Palestinians.

Such acts of torture included severe beatings, arbitrary detention, solitary confinement, cruel and inhuman prison conditions, harassment, forced confessions and summary executions, the group said.

The submission to the court, based in The Hague, the Netherlands, was filed a day before a scheduled meeting of the UN Committee against Torture in Geneva.

Other groups, such as UN Watch, a non-profit organization that seeks to hold the United Nations accountable, have said Palestinians who sell land to Jews are also being tortured and killed. A report published last week mentions a death in December 2018. US-Palestinian Isaam Akel, sentenced to life in prison for violating a law prohibiting the sale of land to Israelis.

Israelis building settlements in the West Bank have been a point of contention between peace negotiators on both sides of the conflict, as attempts to create a two-state solution based on borders prior to Israel’s 1967 military victory over several Arab states failed.

The Palestinian Authority is the governing body of parts of the West Bank and controls the Gaza Strip, which is currently controlled by Hamas, a group that the State Department considers terrorist organization.

Since the Palestinians acceded to the Rome Statute in 2015, the ILF said the Palestinian Authority was responsible for capturing Israelis in Gaza, including the bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, Israeli soldiers who were captured by Hamas during the 2014 Gaza War and later died in captivity.

Hamas continues to hold both bodies and is demanding the release of the prisoners in Israel for their return.

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President Biden met with Abbas last week during a visit to Israel, where he “reaffirmed the strong ties between the Palestinian and American peoples and underscored his commitment to a two-state solution,” the White House said.

“Mr. President, we abide by the resolutions that have international legitimacy and signed agreements, and we have committed ourselves to renounce violence and fight terrorism in our region and the world,” Abbas said in a joint statement. “Mr. President, we look forward to your administration’s efforts to turn the page on the Israeli occupation of our country and acts of racial discrimination, apartheid against our people, and stop unilateral actions that undermine the two-state solution. “

Abbas has been criticized for not holding presidential elections in the territory since 2006.