WASHINGTON, Friday, October 22, 2021 (WAFA) – US legislators have decried Israel’s labelling of six Palestinian human rights organizations as “terrorists”, calling for the Israeli occupation to rescind this unfair decision.
The six groups are Addameer, al-Haq, Defense for Children Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Bisan Center for Research and Development and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees. The designation, made pursuant to a 2016 Israeli statute, effectively outlaws the activities of these civil society groups.
The decision authorizes the Israeli occupation authorities to close their offices, seize their assets and arrest and jail their staff members, and it prohibits funding or even publicly expressing support for their activities.
Congresswoman Betty McCollum described in a statement the Israeli decision as an attempt to silence advocates of Palestinian rights.
“I condemn this action to shut down legitimate civil society organizations advocating for Palestinian human rights. This is nothing more than an attempt to silence critics of Palestinian rights. It is anti-democratic, and contrary to the values expected of a U.S. ally,” McCollum said.
She urged “the Biden administration to immediately call upon the Israeli government to reverse their decision and restore these organizations’ ability to continue their important work.”
“For years, I have worked with Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) to protect the rights of Palestinian children who are imprisoned in Israeli military detention facilities. I trust and value DCIP’s work advancing human rights. I stand with Amnesty International in challenging this decision,” McCollum added.
Rep. Ilhan Omar also condemned the Israeli decision. She said in a tweet, “Labelling effective NGOs “terrorists” is a textbook way to evade accountability for human rights violations—and an affront to everyone who cares about peace.”
“There must be immediate consequences from the US and the international community for this brazen act,” she continued.
Rep. Mark Pocan also tweeted, “Israel should rescind their blanket decision to label Palestinian civil rights organizations as terrorist groups.”