Israel Must End Campaign of Repression Intent on Silencing Palestinian Human Rights Organizations and Defenders
On August 18, 2022 Israeli security forces stormed and shut down the offices of six leading Palestinian human rights organizations in the West Bank, on the charge that they are associated with a terrorist organization. This claim has been widely refuted by UN Human Rights experts, the EU, US intelligence services as well as other governments.
This raid follows designations of the six organizations as terrorist groups in October 2021. The organizations include: The Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, which empowers Palestinian women on all levels, Al-Haq, an internationally respected human rights organization, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, Addameer, which advocates for the rights of Palestinian prisoners, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and Defence for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P).
These Israeli raids are part of broader and relentless campaign being carried out by Israel aimed at rendering Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations inactive and forcing them into silence. It is no surprise that this assault is taking place as Israel has once again stepped up its campaign of violence against Palestinians including through targeting of women, children and civilian populations at large.
This designation and the subsequent shut down of the 6 rights NGOs, is a transparent attempt by Israel, like other authoritarian states in the region, to misuse anti-terror legislation to silence civil society disent and criticism, so the violation of human rights of Palestinians can continue unabated.
FEMENA condemns the shutdown of the 6 Palestinian human rights organizations and the Israeli campaign to silence Palestinian civil society and human rights defenders.
FEMENA calls on the international community, including the UN, the US and European governments, to strongly condemn not only Israeli raids on rights organizations, but the recent escalation of violence against Palestinians. The international community must hold Israel accountable for its continued violation of the rights of Palestinians and its repressive policies against civil society.