HAIFA, Thursday, August 18, 2022 (WAFA) – The Haifa-based Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel said today that the Israeli attack on the Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations in Ramallah is an attack on the entire Palestinian people and their right to self-determination
Today, in the early morning hours, Israeli military forces raided the offices of seven Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations, confiscated documents and their equipment, vandalized and closed them. Six of the organizations were declared in October 2021 as terrorist organizations by the Israeli Defense Minister, under Israeli law and soon thereafter, the Israeli Military Commander also outlawed the groups, declaring them "unlawful associations"
Another organization that was raided and closed is the Health Work Committees, which the Military Commander declared as an "unlawful association" in January 2020.
The Israeli military carried out the raid only a few hours after the Military Commander rejected the objection submitted by the organizations Addameer, Al Haq, the Bisan Center, Defense of Children International-Palestine, the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees, challenging his decision to outlaw them. The objection was filed by the legal team representing Adalah and private attorneys Michael Sfard and Avigdor Feldman, after the Israeli authorities refused repeated requests to reveal the evidence it allegedly holds against the organizations.
"After 10 European states rejected Israel’s declarations of the groups as ‘terrorist organizations’, as it was pronounced in the absence of any evidence, Israel continues to persecute Palestinian human rights and civil society groups with the clear aim of silencing them,” said Adalah in a statement.
“The effort is led by a Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, suspected of committing war crimes, in an attempt to terrorize those who will testify against him and his actions,” it said.
The raid on the organizations’ offices was carried out only a few hours after the Israeli Military Commander rejected the objection filed by the groups against their declaration as “unlawful associations”, without giving any answer to the fact that these organizations were and are not given any opportunity to defend themselves against the secret evidence that the Israeli occupation forces allegedly hold against them.
“This attack on Palestinian civil society is an attack on the entire Palestinian people and their right to self-determination. Standing aside or staying silent constitutes active cooperation with the persecution and oppression of human rights defenders," said Adalah.