CMEP Bulletin: Human Rights and the PA?
Palestinian Authority Releases Human Rights Activist It Arrested For Criticism [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports: “The Palestinian Authority released from prison a Palestinian human rights activist who had been arrested for criticizing the government on Facebook. Issa Amro, 35, was arrested a week ago after he took to Facebook to criticize the arrest of a local journalist who had called for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s resignation. He reportedly was released on $1,400 bail. He had gone on a hunger strike in Palestinian prison to protest his arrest, and said upon his release that he was verbally and physically abused while in custody, the Associated Press reported.” CMEP had previously released a statement calling for Amro’s release.
Palestinians Reveal PA Torture to JPost, Seek Justice in Israeli Courts [The Jerusalem Post]
The Jerusalem Post reports, “Stories of Palestinian Authority (PA) torture have been coming out since the Jerusalem District Court ruled that Palestinians can sue the PA in Israeli courts earlier this summer. … Even if Palestinians were cooperating with Israel, if it was to thwart terrorist attacks on Israelis, the court said that the PA is obligated to assist in such efforts under the Oslo Accords. Accordingly, the court said the PA could not treat such Palestinians as criminals, much less torture them.”
Trump Supports $75M. Additional Aid to Israel Beyond Obama-Era MOU [The Jerusalem Post]
The Jerusalem Post reports, “The Trump administration will support Congress’s effort to provide Israel with more aid than was guaranteed in a formal defense package negotiated by former US president Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year. … That agreement – a memorandum of understanding meant to govern US defense assistance to Israel through the coming decade – provides Israel with $38 billion through 2028. During the 2016 negotiations, Israel’s leadership signed a side letter promising to return any aid appropriated by Congress exceeding the $3.1 billion set aside for this fiscal year. But Congress ignored that provision, cutting Israel an additional $75 million in aid in its latest appropriations bill.”
Dear Secretary Tillerson: Don’t Downsize Religion in Foreign Affairs [Christianity Today]
CMEP’s Executive Director Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon writes, “While religious freedom for Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others is vital to the Middle East and other parts of the world, a vague commitment to religious freedom alone does not suffice to make peace. We need people in the halls of power communicating directly with decision makers. And US policymakers need us. The world is full of diplomatic and global challenges that require the wisdom and experience of faith leaders and their constituents. The State Department should neither do without this direct input from US faith communities nor limit their input to one issue. People of faith have more to contribute.”