Israel’s targeting of Palestinian human rights organisations must stop!
EuroMed Rights strongly condemns the Israeli military raid and order of closure of the offices of Al Haq, Addameer, Bisan Center for Research & Development, Defense for Children, the Union of Palestinian Women Committees, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and the Health Work Committee. Despite the EU and its Member States rejections of Israeli claims that these and other CSOs are in any way linked to terrorism, Israel relentlessly continues to shut down the Palestinian human rights movement.
The Israeli Military forcibly entered the offices of these organisations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) early this morning, removed files and office equipment, and left the front doors sealed with a note taped ordering the offices closed and declaring each organisation as illegal. In October 2021, the six organisations were targeted by the Israeli authorities, declaring them as “terrorist organisations” using the 2016 Counter-Terrorism Law. This designation has already had consequences on the safety, financial stability and work of above mentioned CSOs and a chilling effect across the human rights community active in Palestine.
In July 2022, a group of European states said that “no substantial information was received from Israel that would justify reviewing our policy towards the six Palestinian NGOs,” confirming their support for the targeted groups, although feeble enough not to prevent Israel’s latest action.
“In face of the obstinate objective of the Israeli authorities to crash anyone trying to oppose their systemic policy of human rights violations against the Palestinians, EU and its Member States, and the international community at large, must address with concrete actions the catastrophic situation faced by the human rights community active in Palestine. There is no more time left for statements, as the latest move by Israel shows,” stated Wadih Al-Asmar, President of EuroMed Rights.