RAMALLAH, Thursday, August 18, 2022 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Thursday dawn raided the headquarters of seven Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations in the occupied West Bank cities of Ramallah and al-Bireh and ordered the places to be shut down, according to local sources.
The heavily-armed soldiers stormed the offices of the organizations, muscled inside, tampered with the contents, seized office equipment and documentation, shut down the main entrances with iron plates, and leaving behind military orders declaring the organisations unlawful.
The organizations raided are Al-Haq, Addameer, the Bisan Center for Research & Development, Defense for Children International Palestine (DCI-Palestine), the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, the Union of Health Work Committees and the Union of Palestinian Women.
In October 2021, Israel declared Addameer, Al-Haq and Bisan, along with Defense for Children International-Palestine, the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees as terrorist organisations.
The declaration, which accused the groups of militant links, was met with criticism from both the United Nations and human rights organisations.
The groups deny the claims and in a joint statement last month nine European countries said they would continue working with them because Israel had failed to prove the allegation that they were terrorist organisations.
The foreign ministries of Belgium; Denmark; France; Germany; Ireland; Italy; the Netherlands; Spain; and Sweden said they had not received "substantial information" from Israel that would justify reviewing their policy.
"Should evidence be made available to the contrary, we would act accordingly," they said. "In the absence of such evidence, we will continue our cooperation and strong support for the civil society in the OPT (occupied Palestinian territories).
"A free and strong civil society is indispensable for promoting democratic values and for the two-state solution.”