6 Dec. 2007: Palestinian police disperse demonstrations in the West Bank , killing one person and injuring others

6 Dec 2007

On 26 and 27 November, while the Annapolis Conference was taking place in the United States , Palestinians in the West Bank held protest marches and demonstrations opposing the conference. According to reports, officials of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank , which is ruled by Fatah, notified the population in some areas that public protests would not be allowed. The police dispersed, possibly by means of excessive force, the demonstrations that did take place.

The Palestinian police's response was particularly violent in H-1, the area of Hebron in which the PA is responsible for civil and security matters. The police used live fire on demonstrators, killing a 37 year old man and wounding seven.

Video from the demonstration

There is also documentation from Hebron of widespread beating and arbitrary arrests of demonstrators, of bystanders suspected of taking part in the demonstrations, and of politicians belonging to opposition parties. Also documented are beatings of detainees in detention facilities, and attacks on journalists, aimed at preventing them from reporting the events.

Preventing civil protest activity gravely infringes the right to freedom of expression. The use of excessive force in dispersing the demonstrations, if that was indeed that case, aggravates the breach. B'Tselem stresses that the Palestinian Authority is obligated to investigate these events and prosecute and punish, first of all, the persons found responsible for the civilian casualties.