The Jerusalem Institute of Justice has concluded an 18 month study of the status of human rights in the West Bank and Gaza. This study has revealed that despite 20 billion dollars of western aid to the Palestinian Authority in the last 14 years, poverty and human rights violations are rampant in the territories. There is no acceptance of basic human rights law, and no accountability or oversight.
A spokesperson for the institute, Christopher Kuehl, spoke on Sun News’ The Source about the study. He revealed that the most rampant violations are arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, torture, freedom of opinion and expression. Any person or organization expressing criticism of the government is likely to receive threatening phone calls, and in some cases be arrested and interrogated. Violation of freedom of the press include extensive use of arrests, interrogations, violence, and threats made against reporters and journalists. In 2010, Reporters Without Borders ranked the PA 150th out of 170 state in freedom of the press and in 2011, Human Rights Watch reported significant violations of reporters rights by Palestinian authorities. Women’s rights, freedom of religion, children’s rights . The Institute concludes that pressure needs to be exerted on western donors to make sure there is accountability and oversight.