The offices of seven respected progressive Palestinian civil society organisations were raided by Israeli occupying forces in Ramallah on August 18. During the raid soldiers confiscated documents and destroyed equipment and demanded the closure of these offices.
The organisations include Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq human rights law centre, , Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children International-Palestine, Union of Health Work Committees, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees.
None of these organisations has received funding from Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA, but we join other international organisations in condemning the raids and we support the non-government organisations in continuing their important work.
Previously the Israeli parliament accused these organisations of terrorism offences but has not produced evidence to back up these charges.
A sign-on statement from the Cairo Institute for Human Rights says: “These raids and closures represent the latest escalation in Israel’s widespread campaign aiming to silence and discredit any Palestinian individual or organization that dares to seek accountability for Israel’s grave human rights violations, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The “persecution of organizations and persons, by depriving them of fundamental rights and freedoms, because they oppose apartheid” is a method used by Israel, amounting to acts of apartheid prosecutable under the Rome Statute, to maintain its domination and oppression over the Palestinian people.
“The organizations remain at an additional risk of closure of bank accounts, travel bans and movement restrictions, and the arrest and detention of staff members for their work. Israel’s attacks against these organizations pose an existential threat to independent Palestinian human rights organizations and civil society who work to monitor and document violations of human rights and provide basic services to the Palestinian people.”