Omar Shakir: We’re seeing unprecedented repression of Palestinians

Tensions are still high in the Middle East in the days after the two attacks that took place in Jerusalem, as well as the numerous raids carried out by Israeli forces. In an interview with N1, Human Rights Watch director for Israel and Palestine Omar Shakir speaks about the situation and what led to the latest wave of violence.

Shakir clearly identifies the responsibility of Israel, the Palestinians and the international community in the matter.

“We’re seeing in many ways unprecedented repression of Palestinians taking place,” he said, adding that 2022 saw “the highest number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank since the UN began systematically recording data in 2005.”

At the start of 2023, “things have only further escalated,” he said.

However, he noted that Palestinian authorities absolutely play a role in the repression of Palestinians.”

“Let’s be clear, the Israeli Government is the overarching sovereign in the area between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean Sea. There are only small pockets where the PA and the Hamas manage affairs,” he explained.

“We know that both authorities, obviously, have undertaken arbitrary arrests, and torture of their own citizens, the PA has been incredibly ineffectual, corrupt, complicit in the underlying Israeli repression. Hamas has often tried to take advantage of the events to suit their own political interest and, in the course of doing so, committed their own crimes and abuses. So, undeniably there is a role of Palestinian authorities here and that needs to be addressed using the same set of toolkits. Similarly, there needs to be accountability for their crimes,” he said.

See the full interview in the video above.


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