CAMBRIDGE, Saturday, October 23, 2021 (WAFA) - The International Human Rights Clinic of Harvard Law School said it was “deeply concerned” by the Israeli Minister of Defense’s recent designation of prominent Palestinian civil society groups, including Palestinian human rights advocates, as terrorist organizations and called on the US government to oppose it.
“Deploying anti-terrorism legislation to criminalize and delegitimize human rights work violates internationally protected rights to free speech and free association and assembly. It marks an alarming escalation in the repression of Palestinian civil society organizations and human rights defenders, who have been instrumental in documenting human rights abuses by both Israeli and Palestinian authorities, resisting unjust policies of the Israeli occupation, and advocating to protect the rights of Palestinians living in the occupied territories,” it said in a statement.
The Clinic said it stands “in solidarity with Palestinian human rights defenders,” and called on the United States government and the international community “to oppose this decision, and on the Israeli government to reverse it immediately.”
Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced the designation of the leading West Bank-based Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations - Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq Law in the Service of Man (Al-Haq), Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P), the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC) - as “terror organizations,” effectively outlawing the organizations and placing them at risk of imminent reprisals.