B’Tselem press release

This morning we received this press release from Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem as one of 53 civil society groups standing with these Palestinian organisations.

On Thursday 8th August, before dawn, Israeli armed forces raided the Ramallah offices of Addameer, al-Haq, Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP), the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Bisan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees, and confiscated files and equipment.

They issued military orders to close them down and welded shut their office doors. They also caused damage to St Andrew’s Church Ramallah, which they occupied while raiding the al-Haq offices. Six of the NGOs raided were already criminalised by Israel last October, creating real risk for their staff members and the wider Palestinian community they serve.

Israel’s previous attacks on human rights defenders, including these seven NGOs, have been met with condemnation from UN human rights experts and international human rights groups. Last month, 10 European states publicly declared that they would actively support the targeted Palestinian NGOs since Israel had failed to produce any credible evidence to back up its allegations against them.

The UK Deputy Counsel General in Jerusalem joined a solidarity visit with EU members to al-Haq’s offices last Thursday and tweeted

Earlier today we heard about Israeli raids on Palestinian civil society organisations and saw damage done to St Andrew’s Church in Ramallah. UK remains a firm supporter of Palestinian civil society and the important role such organisations play in upholding human rights.

This morning we received this press release from Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem as one of 53 civil society groups standing with these Palestinian organisations.
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53 civil society organisations in solidarity with the Palestinian organisations designated by Israel as “terrorist groups.”

The defence of human rights is not terrorism. Israel is persisting in its declaration of prominent Palestinian civil society organisations as terrorist groups. Recently, the military put words into action by raiding their offices and shutting them down.

These declarations are baseless. Indeed, the U.S. Administration, the European Union and other allies of Israel found Israel’s allegations unconvincing. After thoroughly examining the material Israel provided them, all of the European countries that are donors to these organisations decided to continue their support.

Documentation, advocacy and legal aid are the core of human rights work around the world. Criminalising such activity is a deplorable act characteristic of repressive regimes.

We stand in solidarity with our fellow human rights defenders in Palestinian society. We repudiate these baseless declarations and call on the international community to pressure Israel to revoke its decision.
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The 53 organisations are:
A Land for All | Academia for Equality |  ACAP - The Arab Center for Alternative Planning |  Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel |  Akevot Institute |  ASSAF |  Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights |  Breaking the Silence | B’Tselem |  Coalition of Women Against Weapons |  Combatants for Peace |  Emek Shaveh |  Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement |  Gun Free Kitchen Tables |  HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual |  Haqel: In Defense of Human Rights |  Harvest Coalition |  Human Rights Defenders Fund |  Ir Amim |  Isha L’Isha |  Itach Ma’aki – Women Lawyers for Social Justice |  J Street |  Kerem Navot |  Looking the Occupation in the Eye |  Machsom Watch |  Mahapach-Taghir |  Mehazkim |  Mesarvot |  Mothers Against Violence |  Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equlity |  New Israel Fund |  Oz Veshalom: Israel’s Jewish Religious Peace Movement |  Parents against Child Detention |  Peace Now |  Peace NGO Forum |  Physicians for Human Rights Israel |  Psychoactive |  Rabbis for Human Rights |  Recognition Forum |  Sikkuy-Aufoq |  Social TV |  The Abraham Initiatives |  The Association for Civil Rights in Israel |  The Joint Democratic Initiative |  The Parents Circle – Families Forum |  The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel |  The School for Peace |  Torat Tzedek – Torah Of Justice |  Women Against Violence |  Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights |  Yesh-Gvul |  Zazim – Community Action |  Zochrot




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