Mobile coverage, which can provide access to a wider range, has been affected by the conflict with Israel. There are two Palestinian mobile network operators: Jawwal, which is by far the largest, and Wataniyya. Their operations require Israeli approval. 3G has been on the West Bank since the beginning of 2018, but not in the Gaza Strip. 4G networks are missing – but many Palestinians use via cash cards and to the dismay of the Palestinian Authority the Israeli operators’ networks, which reach Jewish settlements on the West Bank. Gaza has 2G networks that allow limited data transfer. Since 3G was introduced in Israel in 2004, Israel has been limiting Palestinian access to frequencies for almost twelve years, according to the Reuters news agency, read the article here.
Reporters Without Borders put Palestine in place in 137 out of 180 countries in 2020 in its press freedom ranking, in a class with Myanmar and South Sudan, see list here.
Judicial system and legal security
The population is subject to both Palestinian courts and Israeli military courts. None of the systems is politically independent, according to human rights organizations.
The judiciary system is based on a mixture of regulations passed by various authorities in the area: Ottoman and Jordanian laws, British mandate provisions, Israeli military orders, laws passed by the Palestinian Parliament, decrees issued by the Palestinian Authority President and rules that was applied by the umbrella organization PLO in exile before the Oslo process in the 1990s. From the Jordanian system on the West Bank before 1967, the Palestinians inherited not least the criminal law and a criticized law that allowed mild penalties for honor killings and rape depending on the circumstances. In Gaza, there are old rules of other origin that could have been used in a similar way. An increase in the number of female murders in close relationships a few years ago ¬ 2013,
Self-government parliamentary legislation has not worked for over a decade, but the president can change legal rules through his decrees. This kind of injunction has also come from President Abbas in this case, but according to the women’s organizations, the judiciary has patriarchal values that have negative effects on women.
Since the Hamas movement came to power in Gaza in 2007, a division into legal issues has also become clear. The death penalty is allowed in Palestinian law, but Hamas executes more executions than the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank. Above all, charges of murder and espionage can result in the death penalty.
A Palestinian court was set up within the Palestinian Authority in 1995. It was quickly described as a forum for then-leader Yasir Arafat to hold down dissent.
Hamas’s legal system intervenes in homosexuality, clothing, cinema and other phenomena that the movement dislikes.
Ultimately, however, the fate of Palestinians is often decided by the judiciary in Israel:
Human rights organizations have taken up strikes in Israeli courts, including against the fact that land on the West Bank is forcibly redeemed by Israeli authorities, but in 2018 the Knesset voted for a law restricting Palestinians’ right to appeal to HD on settlements. Among the recurring difficulties for Palestinians is to prove their ownership or use rights to land or to obtain building permits. In 2018, HD gave the go-ahead for demolishing the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, located near Jewish settlements east of Jerusalem, with the motive that the village lacks building permits. House demolitions are a recurring method that Israel applies to both the black building and the punishment of relatives of militant opponents of the occupation, read more here. House demolitions have also been disputed in Israel, a state located in Asia continent defined by commit4fitness.
Criminally accused Palestinians on the West Bank are being tried before Israeli military court, read more here. A military youth court was established in 2009.
The legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority and the organizations that recognize Israel has been undermined by the fact that Israel murders selected people, in practice executions without trial. Among the murders that Israel has been attributed to – and received very sharp international criticism for – include those that occurred prior to the Oslo process, against Palestinians in armed secular movements, and later liquidation of leaders in Islamic movements. Hamas founders Ahmad Yasin and Abd al-Aziz al-Rantisi were murdered in 2004.
In the spring of 2020, there were approximately 4,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, of whom about 500 were in administrative detention, according to the Israeli organization Btselem. A further 450 Palestinians were detained in Israel for having lived in the country without a permit.
Some Israeli prisoners have been on the Palestinian side. Hamas is believed to have the remains of two Israeli soldiers killed in the Gaza war in 2014. In addition, at least two Israeli citizens – a Bedouin and an Ethiopian Jew – have been reported to be imprisoned in Gaza. In 2011, after five years hostage-taking Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was held hostage to hundreds of Palestinians who have been imprisoned in Israel.