Human Rights or Money For Silence?

In this report I want to highlight the unjustified and unacceptable changes in the work of the human rights organizations in West Bank under the influence of the Palestinian National Authority, PNA. Several of human rights organizations in Ramallah and other cities have turned their back on the gross violations of human rights, like shootings, serious injuries, honor killings, torture, wanton incarcerations, disappearances which are attributed to the PA and its VIPs and their relatives and cronies in Fatah and related organizations, who disregard the human rights and deal with the Palestinian people as a flock of animals whenever it pleases them.

The human rights organizations have played and continue to play an important role in detecting and exposing the crimes and human rights violations under the Israeli occupation. These organizations are the same institutions that today cover up the crimes of the Palestinian Authority. Some of these organizations have turned into a mouthpiece, “spokespersons”, of the PNA and they accompany its representatives to international conferences in order to give the PNA a touch of beauty, to put a smear of cosmetics on the ugly face of the continued violations of human rights of the PNA, to justify and rationalize away its crimes and its dictatorial behavior in the West Bank.

The dereliction of duty of the human rights institutions working in the West Bank can not be justified. I can ONLY try to explain this by saying that these institutions are afraid of the PNA and its reactions, thus they preserve their financial funding sources and reduce their field of work to exposing the crimes of the Israeli occupation and distancing themselves from even looking at the Palestinian National Authority and its crimes. In addition there are many workers at the human rights organizations who have familial relationships, personal contacts and common interests (in a way or another) with the PNA and Fatah. All this leads to these institutions resorting to the deliberate covering-up of the crimes perpetrated by the PNA and its functionaries.

This serious issue shows that the work of the human rights organizations under the PNA regime is not neutral and objective, and that the PNA regime is a dictatorial repressive one not much different from the criminal Israeli occupation regime and the other despotic regimes of dictatorship planted by the intelligence foreign Western of the US, Europeans and zionists agencies in the Arab countries in order to preserve their interests and the Israeli interests in those countries. In light of these highlights data the important question which floats on the surface is:

Do the international NGOs institutions which financing the human rights organizations in the West Bank knew about the turnaround work of these organizations in the favor of the PNA? If the answer is yes, this is a scandal, and if the answer is no, this is a catastrophe.

To illustrate the incredible work of the human right organizations under the PNA, I am presenting here the summaries of two tragical crimes perpetrated by the presidential security forces (a gang of death squads trained by American and European special forces to protect the Palestinian puppets of US and Israel) in Ramallah, where the residence of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the PNA headquarters and these human rights organizations are located, among them Al-Haq and the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR). The crimes were perpetrated by the “security forces” accompanying the procession of Mr. Tayeb Abed el-Rahim, one of the biggest fat cats of the PNA, Secretary General of the Presidency and a member of the Central Committee of Fatah. The victims were two innocent civilian youth.

On February 20 2010, the convoy of Mr. Tayeb Abed el-Rahim caused the death of Palestinian citizen “M.A.” in the central Al-Irsa’a street in Ramallah. The victim was shot in the head and left bleeding to death. The security forces of Abed Al-Rahim stated that they had warned “M.A.” to stop his car but that he did not stop his car when the convoy of Abed el-Rahim passed through. Eyewitnesses said that “M.A.” was driving his car in a side street which is connected with the street where the convoy of Abed el-Rahim passed, and that the Palestinian security forces shot him without warning. The father of the victim stated that his son was on his way back home for lunch when he was shot.

In another case, on June 9 2009, the “security forces” gang around Mr. Abed el-Rahim guarding his convoy shot the young man Atef Awad Issa, 26, and caused him a serious injuries when the convoy passed through the central street of Ramallah. The victim was accidentally driving his car when the convoy of Abed el-Rahim suddenly passed and the thugs shot him. The “security” thugs of Abed el-Rahim claimed about this incident that the car of Issa “was suspicious” and that the young man tried to bypass the official motorcade. It was later found that the Palestinian was neither “suspicious” nor a militant. Nonetheless, his injury caused him a permanent disability.

It should be noted that in both cases boilerplate statements justifying their crimes were issued by the “presidential forces” after they perpetrated them. Only the names of the victims were different. I have copies of both statements in Arabic in my archive.

Both crimes were perpetrated close to the offices of Al-Haq and ICHR for Human Rights in Ramallah. However, both institutions covered up the crime and dropped them from their monthly reports. The Al-Quds newspaper in Jerusalem published two lines about the “A.M” murder on their website, but these were censored and removed on the same day.

Following the crime of February 20 2010, I wrote to Al-Haq in Ramallah to ask about the issue. I asked them why they had dropped the crime of the PA from their reports, but one year later I have not yet received an answer from them.

In March 2010 I met Mr. Wesam Ahmad, senior officer of public relations for Al-Haq, at the “Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People organized by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People” which took place on 24-25 March 2010 at the UN office in Vienna. I asked him about the 20 February 2010 crime, the murder of the Palestinian “M.A” by the Presidential forces of Abed Al-Rahim, and why Al-Haq had not reported about it. I was ready to expose the story at the UN meeting. Mr. Ahmad said Al-Haq is ONLY interested in reporting the crimes of the Israeli occupation. I asked him for further clarification and if murdering a Palestinian civilian was not a crime, but a national event. He answered that Al-Haq is avoiding any kind of conflict with the PNA, and that the PNA had caused Al-Haq troubles in the past when they had followed a case of death at one of its jails.

When I told Mr. Ahmad that I was going to expose the work of Al-Haq and how they dropped the murder of “M.A.” from their reports he said that was fine, and that perhaps could help them before the PNA to do their work. Mr. Ahmad promised to send me further information about the crime, the full name of the victim, which I found later by myself, but after he left the UN he obviously “forgot” the issue.

I wrote Mr. Ahmad again, and I also wrote the director of Al-Haq, Mr. Shahwan Jabarin, about the case. The answers of Al-Haq were very clear that they are covering up the crimes of the PNA and that they do not want to release further information. All the correspondence between me and Al-Haq, as well to other human rights organization in Ramallah, are below.

I hope that this will help to improve the protection of common Palestinians from wanton crimes of the PNA. As far as I am concerned, a crime against a Palestinian is a crime, and a violation of his or her human rights, and it does not matter if the crime is perpetrated by the occupation or by the PNA.


From: K Salam [mailto:kawther_salam [at] yahoo [dot] com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 5:31 PM
To: …@alhaq.org
Subject: Hope that you will be able to answer my question????

Dear Mr. Wisam,

I Hope that you still remember me. This is my second e-mail in asking you about the same issue. You promised to send me the name of the victim who was killed in cold blood in February 2010 in Ramallah. The victim who was shot to death by guards of the so-called Secretary-General of the Palestinian Presidency, al-Tayyeb Abdel al-Rahim.

This was not the first victim of the Mr. Abed al-Rahim. Awad Atef Issa, age of 26, was shot on June 6 2009 by Abed al-Rahim security. Whenever Abed Al-Rahim convoys pass, and wherever he participates in a meeting, a crime happened, but everything happens in top secret. I mean that nobody reports about these crimes.

In my opinion enough is enough, and Abed Al-Rahim is not a “big dog” so that everybody should scare of him.

I can assure you that I’m still waiting for your response,

Thank you for your consideration, Kawther

From: K Salam <kawther_salam [at] yahoo [dot] com>
To: Wesam Ahmad <…@gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, April 1, 2010 16:14:57
Subject: Re: Hope that you will be able to answer my question????

Dear Wesam,

Thank you for your answer. I would appreciate if you put me in contact with this family. Off course I will respect their will if they want this. But I want to talk to them because I find the position is suspicious.

Even if this is the will of the family, I think that your organization should report about the incident without publishing the full name of the victim. I think that human rights organizations should avoid giving the impression that human rights of victims are different according to who is the perpetrator.

Regards from my husband, Kawther

From: K Salam <kawther_salam [at] yahoo [dot] com>
To: Wesam Ahmad <….@gmail.com>
Sent: Saturday, April 3, 2010 19:36:54
Subject: Re: Fw: Hope that you will be able to answer my question????

Dear Wesam,

I suspect that you are not saying the truth.

<Again, I want to make clear that we do address all violations regardless of the perpetrator>

No Wesam, Al-Haq did not address the Palestinian-perpetrated violations of human rights. I looked at the Al-Haq archive, and my conclusion is that the lack of credibility of Al-Haq is very clear. Al-Haq did not report about Mr. Awad Atif Issa, who was shot by “security” thugs of Al-Tayeb Abed el-Rahim on June 2009. Al-Haq did not report about many other crimes committed by the PA, and you do not report on honor killings. I have many examples of crimes which Al-Haq did not report, which are mentioned nowhere by you. Many people have been sentenced to death for often trumped-up crimes, Al-Haq did not report. There are many cases of civilians taken to military court, Al-Haq did not report. Did Al-Haq report about the shootout during a wedding between the thugs of Al-Tayeb Abed Al-Rahim and the thugs of Yasser Abed-Rabo? Did you report about the regime of wholesale terror which these thugs impose on whole neighborhoods? How many people were killed during this one shootout?

All of your behavior is in clear violation of the mandate as a human right organization of Al-Haq. I think the organizations which are financing the Al-Haq “duqaan” must be informed about the ineffectiveness of Al-Haq, which taken all together amounts to collusion in the perpetration of grave crimes against Palestinians. You say that Al-Haq also reports about the PA violations, but it is simply not true.

  • What does it mean that Al-Haq reports about Israeli violations of the human rights but does not report about the PA violations of the human rights?
  • What does this mean? Are the Palestinians not humans when the PA violates their rights, or is Al-Haq an agent of the PA?
  • How many employees of Al-Haq have a relative working in the corrupt PA system?

Anyway, the Palestinian murdered by the the thugs of el-Tayeb Abed Al-Rahim on Feb. 20 2010, an incident which has been covered-up by Al-Haq first with silence and then with lies, is not the only incident which puts a big question mark on the credibility of Al-Haq. I am sorry to say that your organization has been turned into a “duqaan” which is only effective in sucking financial resources from other International organizations. Al-Haq has become another example of the new PA way of total corruption.

Your speech at UN about the wall was really good, but you omitted saying that this wall was built under the PA, you “forgot” to say that only private persons are protesting against this atrocity, and that the PA normally shoots or jails Palestinians who protest against it.

Have a nice trip in USA or wherever you are flying. Feel free to send a copy of this Email to whoever you want. Kawther

From: K Salam [mailto:kawther_salam [at] yahoo [dot] com]
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2010 2:46 PM
To: ….
Subject: Re: Request for honour killing sources

Thank you for writing,

I am not happy of what the human rights organizations are doing in Palestine. You are depending on the PNA press releases and sources; you do not have field researchers. I feel shame of your falsifying to the truth and adopting the PA news. Please go to the field and search by yourselves. I am sure you will find more horrible things than what I had written. I recommends you to visit Qibia village near Ramallah, and so called Harat Abu Sineneh in Hebron. I am shocked of the situation.

From my side I will expose the PNA scandalous crimes in my reports.

I was looking at your website. I was such disappointed to find that your organization and Al-Haq human rights are not report anything about the murder of the Palestinian youth (M.A) who was in driving his car when Al-Tayyeb Abed Al-Rahim motorcade passed and the security shot him, accusing his of trying to trespass the convey. This happened last month February 20 2010 in the center of Ramallah. This was not the first crime perpetrated by Abed Al-Rahim convey, another person was shot on June 9 2009, when Al-Tayyeb Abed Rahim motorcade passed in center of the city.

I would ask you why your organizations did not report about these stories. Are scare to of the PNA. It’s not possible that each time when Mr. Abed Al-Rahim leaves his office, another Palestinian should be murdered.

Please send my regards to Mr. XXX, I met him when I was in Palestine.

Best to you,

From: ….
To: K Salam < kawther_salam [at] yahoo [dot] com >
Sent: Mon, March 15, 2010 2:38:18 PM
Subject: RE: Request for honour killing sources

Dear Kawther

Many thanks for your email and for taking the time to make some welcomed and constructive criticism.

Just to clarify for you, XXX does use field researchers and we certainly never rely on PA press releases for anything that we publish. The problem is that until now we have not focused on documenting many child rights violations under the jurisdiction of the PA. Our field researchers focus mainly on violations committed by Israeli soldiers and settlers. We do monitor xxxxxx in PA detention (although not comprehensively, I am sorry to admit), thus we try to document and act on any serious abuse we come across. However, unfortunately (and I am personally very saddened about this), we do not go out of our way to document honor crimes against girls.

Sadly and frustratingly, I’m just a foreigner working for a Palestinian organization and my attempts to steer our priorities in this direction have been opposed on more than one occasion. I think XXX should be more explicit about the limits of our reach on our website, etc. – to be clear with people  about what we can and cannot do (given limited resources and a limited team)

You are right though that we do far from enough. Regarding the killing of two Palestinian men you mentioned, however, this does not fall within XXX’s mandate (we are only mandated to document xxxxxxxxxx violations – i.e. affecting persons xxxxxxx). A xxxxxx rights organization cannot report on an xxxxxx killing; this is indeed the job of Al Haq or ICHR.

I’m not sure why Al Haq did not report anything about the killings you mentioned. Perhaps you should ask them?

Thank you for the advice about Qibia village near Ramallah and Harat Abu Sineneh.

I think it is important that the directors of the human rights organizations know about how you feel. I would invite you to write to them directly also. I will forward your email to my director. I will of course send your regards to ……….

On a final note, I just wanted to address the issue of your article on honour killing. I think that it is extremely important what you are doing and I highly commend your work on this issue.

Best of luck with your work

Salamat

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