The Jerusalem Center was contacted by a respected Palestinian attorney from a West Bank city. After personally interviewing him, we are publishing a letter he wrote. His identity will not be made public to ensure his safety.
The problem of governmental corruption is that it is not a personal matter but a public problem. The Palestinian Authority/Fatah has failed to learn any lessons from its embarrassing failure in the Legislative Council elections or its humiliating rout in the Gaza Strip. Unfortunately, the PA continues in its nefarious ways. For example, on the human rights issue, it took control of the Human Rights Authority, and the Rais [President Abbas] himself directly appointed the high commissioner and pays very high salaries to its officials so that they keep within the limitations set for them. This is the opposite of what the founder of the Human Rights Authority, Dr. Eyad Sarraj, intended. It actually resembles what was done by the great dictators of the World War II period, Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin. The PA leaders forget that the people lean toward Hamas not because they love it, but because they hate what the Fatah movement does – which only gets worse by the day.
- The Palestinian citizen suffers from ugly terror if he expresses an opinion that is opposed to that of the PA, or insists on his rights before an official or has refused to pay a bribe to a senior official, his sons, or his bodyguards.
- The PA prevents citizens from appealing directly to court. It requires them first to submit appeals to the police or the prosecutor-general. The police, in tandem with the prosecutor, can then “handle” the complaints so as to dismiss them and turn the complainer into the target. This was not the case in the past, and now citizens are subjected to extortion.
- What can the citizen do if the police and the prosecutor collude to arrest him without justification or based on a false claim?
- When this happens, all the players – the police, people in the prosecutor’s office, the judges and lawyers, the PA officials – must be “dealt” with, and one must not shrink from dealing with them as there is no statute of limitations.
State Department Human Rights Report of Areas Subject to the Jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority
Principal human rights problems related to the Palestinian Authority included mistreatment in detention, arbitrary and prolonged detention, poor prison conditions, impunity, corruption, and lack of transparency. Domestic abuse of women, societal discrimination against women and persons with disabilities, and child labor remained serious problems.
- If justice is ever to prevail for the ordinary citizens, then hundreds of PA and Fatah people will need to be thrown into the prisons. Is it possible? What can be done? The ways of the PA are the ways of corruption, and all that they say about a reform is nothing but a lie. The world turns a blind eye politically and rhetorically, the opposite of how the world behaved toward the previous PA leader – Yasser Arafat.
- He who denies the citizen’s right to justice denies the people’s right to life, and hence has no authority over the rights of the people, or to negotiate in their name.
- The citizen wonders – is he supposed to pay the extortion money to the members of the Fatah Executive Committee, or to the members of the Fatah Central Committee, or to their sons, when he does not have the wherewithal to protect himself from their evil and from the evil of their sons, their bodyguards, and Fatah? No – they will declare him a doomed Zionist agent, and no one will protect him.
- I demand of the international legal organizations that pretend to defend human rights, the states of the European Union, and the United States, the great economic and rhetorical supporter of the PA, and even of the United Nations, which has a commitment to human rights, to set up investigatory committees on the irregularities of the Palestinian Authority, whose legal branch is nothing but an arm of Fatah’s governmental terror, and that includes the civilian and military prosecution. The security apparatus of the PA and the Fatah movement has already been committing crimes against the Palestinian people, which reach the level of crimes against humanity, for half a century – and the crimes continue.
- Dictatorial regimes have behaved this way in the past, but the PA’s innovation is that it appointed Human Rights Authority officials to cover up its crimes.
- PA and Fatah people boast that there is no one who can take them to task.
- I still have never heard of any settler, Israeli soldier, or Israeli officer extorting a Palestinian citizen. It is what the PA and Fatah people do.
- I ask: “Is there one honest person in the PA and in Fatah, or are they all thieves and bandits?”
- The entire people ask: “Have the members of the PA and Fatah reached the top of the pyramid, after having sold their honor and their conscience? Have they turned into dogs that bite the flesh of guests and still have not sated themselves?