The Palestinian Authority has once again demonstrated its severe treatment of Palestinians who dare speak out against its authority after this week arresting Palestinian citizens who were interviewed on Israeli television.

A number of those who took part in television interviews with Israel’s Channel 13 have been arrested after they expressed their opinions on what they would prefer to happen if Israel declares sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. They have been deprived of their freedom of speech, are likely being tortured, having their human rights stripped from them, whilst those who claim to care about Palestinians turn a blind eye.

Last week, Channel 13’s commentator on Arab affairs, Tzvi Yehezkeli, published a series of articles based on interviews he had with the theme being the views of the “Arab man on the street”.

There was a range of views expressed, with many saying they would prefer to live under Israel than under the Palestinian Authority. Some were also critical of the Palestinian leadership.

According to Yehezkeli, those who were arrested were those who agreed to be photographed for the article with their faces on display. Others who it seems have not been arrested were those who had their faces blurred, likely knowing there would be a backlash from the PA.

“Everyone who was interviewed for my article – including one person who didn’t say a single word against the Palestinian Authority – they took them all,” Yehezkeli said.

“I’m talking about five or six people. All they said was that they would prefer to have an Israeli ID card, and that the Palestinian Authority crushes them and steals their money. Right now, they are in PA torture facilities – it’s horrific.”

The Palestinian Authority has a track record of brutally suppressing the freedom of speech of its citizens and undermining efforts of coexistence with Israel.

By all definitions, Mahmoud Abbas’s PA is an authoritarian dictatorship. But the world never treats it as such.

There is no freedom of the press, speech or religion in Palestinian controlled areas. Citizens are often arrested and imprisoned without due process and the PA was elected to serve a four-year term, but they have not held any further elections and are currently in their 14th year in power. Any other government would be labelled a brutal dictatorship by these standards. Instead, Western nations continue to treat this rogue regime with respect and as a “partner for peace”. In so doing, they are undermining the rights of the Palestinian people themselves and allowing for a wedge to be driven between Israel and the Palestinians that moves both sides further away from peace.

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