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Financial assistance for Palestinian Interior Ministry and security services must be withheld until significant human rights progress is made

Written declaration No. 761 | Doc. 15696 | 27 January 2023

Mr Constantinos EFSTATHIOU, Cyprus, SOC ; Ms Thórhildur Sunna ÆVARSDÓTTIR, Iceland, SOC ; Ms Hannah BARDELL, United Kingdom, NR ; Ms Petra BAYR, Austria, SOC ; Mr Fourat BEN CHIKHA, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Mònica BONELL, Andorra, ALDE ; Mr Nuno CARVALHO, Portugal, EPP/CD ; Ms Laura CASTEL, Spain, UEL ; Mr Pedro CEGONHO, Portugal, SOC ; Mr Paul GAVAN, Ireland, UEL ; Mr Björn Leví GUNNARSSON, Iceland, SOC ; Mr Antonio GUTIÉRREZ LIMONES, Spain, SOC ; Mr Andrej HUNKO, Germany, UEL ; Mr Mattias JONSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Ms Mara LAGRIMINHA, Portugal, SOC ; Ms Carmen LEYTE, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Simon MOUTQUIN, Belgium, SOC ; Mr Carles NAUDI, Andorra, ALDE ; Ms Fiona O'LOUGHLIN, Ireland, ALDE ; Mr Pieter OMTZIGT, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Mr Frank SCHWABE, Germany, SOC ; Mr Robert TROY, Ireland, ALDE

We, the undersigned, declare the following:

We are gravely concerned by reports of human rights organisations and the UN Committee against Torture about the systemic practice by Palestinian Security Services of abusing national security charges and anti-money laundering laws to arbitrarily arrest, torture and freeze bank accounts of the regime’s critics.

The lack of proper investigation of the political killing of Nizar Banat, a well-known critic of the Palestinian Authority’s Government is unacceptable. We call to immediately release and drop fabricated criminal cases against witnesses of the assassination of Banat: Hussein and Mohamed Banat, a family lawyer Gandhi Al-Rubaie, and stop the prosecution of Ghassan Banat for seeking justice before the International Criminal Court.

We condemn the attempt to assassinate anti-corruption activist Fadi Elasalameen, as well as the deliberate leak of sensitive information on his home address and banking transactions from the Bank of Palestine to the Al Akhbar newspaper, owned by the Hezbollah terrorist organisation in order to intimidate him.

We call for the exclusion of the Palestinian Interior Ministry and security services from European Union financial assistance until effective steps are taken to stop torture, hold liable those responsible for those acts, including the culprits of the assassination of Nizar Banat and release political prisoners.