Head of the Palestinian National security forces Hazem Abu Hanood and the Head of the Palestinian police Ahmad Abu Rob in Hebron. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90) Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90

The report slams the Palestinian Authority and Hamas for killings, torture, detention of political prisoners and harassment of individuals for participating in foreign conferences.


The US State Department released its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, shedding light on the global human rights situation in 2019, including horrific violations perpetrated by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas against their own people.

The State Department’s report reprimanded  the Palestinian Authority (PA) for a series of human rights abuses in the PA-governed areas of Judea and Samaria, with the PA accused of killings, torture, detention of political prisoners and detaining people for participation in foreign investment conferences.

Additional abuses highlighted included several cases of restriction of freedom of expression and assembly, attacks on the media and NGOs, violence against LGBT persons and forced child labor.

Violence motivated by anti-Semitism also featured in the report.

While the PA had undertaken “some steps to address impunity or reduce abuses,” senior officials were criticized for making comments glorifying violence and influencing investigations and disciplinary proceedings.

The PA’s Foreign Minister Riyad Malki strongly criticized the US for listing the Arabs of Jerusalem as “Arab residents” and not as “Palestinians.” The report discussed Jerusalem’s Arabs rights and labeled them as “non-Israeli citizens” as well.

Hamas Terrorizes Israel and Palestinians in Gaza

The Hamas terrorist group, which controls the Gaza Strip, was also accused of abuses including killings, torture, detention and restricting freedom of expression.

Abuses in Gaza also included “violence motivated by anti-Semitism,” the use of child soldiers and violence against LGBT persons.

The US State Department noted that in 2019, together with the Islamic Jihad terror group, terrorists from Gaza launched 1,340 rockets and mortars at Israel, killing six and injuring over 150 Israeli civilians.

The US State Department utilized information from US embassies and consulates abroad, foreign government officials, non-governmental and international organizations, jurists and legal experts, journalists, academics, labor activists, and published reports, to compile the report.

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