- Title: JERUSALEM/FILE: Amnesty slams Hamas and Fatah over human rights abuses
- Date: 24th October 2007
- Summary: (W3) RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (OCTOBER 24, 2007) (REUTERS) WIDE OF FATAH OFFICIAL AHMED ABDEL-RAHMAN (SOUNDBITE) (English) FATAH OFFICIAL AHMED ABDEL-RAHMAN SAYING: "I welcome this report of Amnesty and I hope that Amnesty will send a delegation here with its report and to meet the officials of the PNA (Palestinian National Authority) and meet the security leaders here. Everything is open here, we are against any violation for human rights, so maybe something we did not know?"
- Embargoed: 8th November 2007 12:00
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVAKNSDLOUVOW188DF1U6H64EUY
- Story Text: Amnesty Israel criticises militants of rival Palestinian groups, Hamas and Fatah, for violating human rights during internal fighting.
Warring factions in the Palestinian Occupied Territories are guilty of human rights violations, says an Amnesty report released on Wednesday (October 24).
The report states that human rights violations both in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank have become widespread since fighting escalated in June between Hamas and Fatah which culminated in Hamas seizing control of Gaza.
Amnon Vidan, head of Amnesty Israel told Reuters Television thousands of cases had been documented in which both parties - the security forces and the armed groups in the occupied territories - committed abductions, used excessive force, and used live ammunition in civilians areas and in and around hospitals.
But Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the report was based on Fatah men testimonies and therefore biased.
"It also relies on stories from the period before June 16 (when Hamas completed its violent take over of the Gaza Strip) and uses those stories to show there was no security in the Gaza Strip," Abu Zuhri added.
The report also accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah-dominated forces of abuses in the larger West Bank, where Fatah retained control after its rout in Gaza:
"Arbitrary detention of suspected Hamas supporters by Palestinian Authority security forces has become routine,"
the report said.
Fatah official Ahmed Abdel-Rahman told Reuters the group welcomed the criticism and would be happy to mend any human rights violations. He hoped Amnesty would send a delegation to meet the PNA, the Palestinian National Authority.
"Everything is open here, we are against any violation for human rights, so maybe something we did not know?," he said.
Amnesty is urging the international community not to deliver weapons to the security forces or the armed groups unless they could guarantee they would be put to proper use.
In June, militants from Hamas routed Fatah-linked Palestinian Authority forces in Gaza. Since the Hamas Gaza takeover, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a Fatah leader, has attempted to crack down on Hamas and solidify his government's control over the occupied West Bank.Ends
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