AL-BIREH, Thursday, July 29, 2021 (WAFA) – Israeli forces dawn Thursday raided the headquarters of a leading child rights organization in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.
Defense for Children International- Palestine said in a press statement that heavily-armed Israeli soldiers smashed the main door of its premises in Sateh Marhaba neighborhood and barged their way inside, tampering with its contents and seizing several computers.
DCI-Palestine condemned the raid was conducted in the context of the wider Israeli occupation authorities’ organized criminalization campaign against the local and international human rights organizations operating in Palestine while pledging to continue to carry out its work dedicated to defending and promoting the rights of Palestinian children in the occupied territories, as well as to exposing Israeli human rights violations against children and holding Israeli perpetrators accountable for such violations.
More than a month earlier, the occupation forces ransacked the main headquarters of the Health Work Committees and that of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), confiscated their properties and documents, and forcibly shut their premises for six months.
Earlier this month, the occupation forces also rounded up HWC director, Shatha Odeh, and seized her car after storming her house in Ramallah city. Odeh’s detention was slammed as purely politically motivated and part of an organized criminalization campaign against the Palestinian society in general, and the Palestinian civil society in particular.
DCIP identifies itself as an independent, local Palestinian child rights organization dedicated to defending and promoting the rights of children living in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Since 1991, it has investigated, documented, and exposed grave human rights violations against children; provided legal services to children in urgent need; held Israeli and Palestinian authorities accountable to universal human rights principles; and advocated at the international and national levels to advance access to justice and protection for children.
DCIP was first registered in 1996 by the Israeli Ministry of Interior. Later, in 2003, DCIP was registered under the Palestinian Authority jurisdiction as an independent Palestinian non-governmental organization.
It is considered a national section of Defense of Children International (DCI), an international child-rights movement and non-governmental organization established in 1979, which currently has over 35 sections around the world and an international secretariat in Geneva.