We (Countdown readers and writers) all know that Palestinians face unspeakable violence by the Israeli occupation. But if that weren’t bad enough, Palestinians often suffer brutality from their own leaders, both in the West Bank and Gaza. Following a peaceful protest calling for an end to sanctions by the West Bank-based Palestinian authority on Gaza, security forces violently arrested protesters, and were caught “kicking them, punching them and beating them with batons,” even after they had been arrested. Sexual harassment and violence against female demonstrators was also reported. In Gaza, security agents in civilian clothes also reportedly assaulted protesters after an altercation between Hamas and Fatah supporters occurred during a demonstration in support of detainees held in Israeli prisons. These types of actions are simply inexcusable, and unbefitting of any group that claims to fight for the right of the Palestinian people to live free from occupation.

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