Press release from EuroMed Rights following the designation as “terrorist organisations” of six Palestinian civil society organisations by Israel.
On 22 October 2021, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz declared six Palestinian human rights and civil society organisations (CSOs) to be “terrorist organisations”. This decision officially targets vital groups working in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), including EuroMed Rights’ member organisation Al-Haq, as well as Defense for Children International-Palestine, Addameer, the Union of Palestinian Women Committees, the Bisan Centre for Research and Development, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees. Israel is using its legal tools to target and label Palestinian CSOs in the West Bank as criminals and to outlaw their crucial work.
“EuroMed Rights members in Palestine, Israel and Europe unequivocally condemn this dramatic step that has no other purpose than silencing the very voices that daily document, denounce and work against the Israeli policies of occupation, oppression and discrimination against Palestinians,” stated Wadih Al-Asmar, President of EuroMed Rights.
With this official decision, the Israeli authorities take one step further in their strategy to close down the human rights movement in Palestine. The numerous smear campaigns – touted by groups such as NGO Monitor and the Israeli government itself – reach another unprecedented threshold with this move, putting the abovementioned CSOs under imminent threat of disappearance, and the whole human rights community in jeopardy.
“The EU and its Member states must speak up to condemn and to stop this unfair and unjustified move, publicly defend the concerned organisations, and address the Israeli-driven smear and defamation campaign that aims to silence Palestinian peaceful voices,” added Rasmus Alenius Boserup, EuroMed Rights Executive Director.