Bassem Eid is a Jerusalem-based political analyst, human rights pioneer and expert commentator in Arab and Palestinian affairs. Eid was born in the Jordanian-occupied Old City in East Jerusalem, whose place of residence became the United Nations Refugee Works Agency (UNRWA) refugee camp of Shuafat. He spent the first 33 years of his life in Shuafat. He rose to prominence during the first Intifada, the Palestinian uprising and was a senior field researcher for B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. In 1996, he founded the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group. In 2016, Eid assumed the role of chairman of the Center for Near East Policy Research.
Bassem Eid publicly condemned the widespread murder of Palestinian dissidents, often for reasons unrelated to the Intifada. In 1995, following his report about the Palestinian Preventive Security Forces (PSF), he came under attack by some Palestinian leaders for revealing human rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority (PA). He continued his criticisms of human rights policies of both Israeli and Palestinian armed forces. Arrested by Arafats' Presidential Guard (Force 17), he was released after 25 hours following widespread international condemnation.
In response to the deterioration of the human rights situation under the PA, Bassem Eid founded the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG), which monitors abuses committed by the PA and also deals to some extent with Israel. It is a non-partisan human rights organization, dedicated to exposing human rights violations and supporting a democratic and pluralistic Palestine.
Bassem Eid has spent 26 years researching UNRWA policies and has written extensively on the subject of UNRWA reform. He also is an outspoken critic of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, otherwise known as BDS.
Eid has traveled widely to lecture on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and has attended international conferences. In recent years he has traveled to Canada, Italy, Japan, and South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the U.S. and the U.K. He presented his research on UNRWA to the British Parliament's Henry Jackson Society in December, 2015.
His publications include Neither Law Nor Justice: Human Rights in the Occupied Territories Since the Oslo Accords (co-written by PHRMG and B’Tselem); The State of Human Rights in Palestine I: The practice of torture by the Palestinian Authority, violations of freedom of the press and freedom of expression, deaths in custody, and police brutality (PHRMG); The State of Human Rights in Palestine II. In-depth report on the judicial system, illegal arrests, and long term illegal detention (PHRMG); Fatah and Hamas Human Rights Violations, in The Israel-Palestine Conflict, published by the University of California, Los Angeles in 2011. He also often contributes editorial articles to publications such as The Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel.
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel has awarded him its Emil Gruenzweig Memorial Award. He is also the recipient of the Robert S. Litvak Human Rights Memorial Award granted by the McGill University Faculty of Law and the International Human Rights Advocacy Center, Inter Amicus; the International Activist Award given by the Gleitsman Foundation, USA; and the award of Italy’s Informazione Senza Frontiere (Information without Boundaries). In 2009, a book, Next Founders, profiled him as the leading Palestinian human rights activist.