Warning of the danger of continuing restrictions on NGOs in Gaza

Observers and specialists warned on Wednesday of the danger of continuing restrictions on the freedom of action of non-governmental organizations in the Gaza Strip.

This came during a workshop organized by Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights entitled "Increasing pressures and restrictions: reducing the work space of NGOs in the Gaza Strip", in the center's headquarters in Gaza City, in the presence of representatives of the authorities in the Gaza Strip, civil society institutions and the Palestinian Monetary Authority, And network of NGOs, and academics.

The workshop aimed to discuss the content of a draft report on the reality of NGOs and the prospects for their ability to continue their work and provide services in the light of violations and restrictions imposed, and the impact of the decline in effectiveness on the beneficiaries.

Samir Zaqout, Deputy Director of the Center, stressed the importance of the right to freedom of establishment and operation of NGOs as one of the fundamental guarantees to promote participation and community control and this respect contributes to the realization of a wide range of human rights.

He noted the specificity of the work of NGOs in the Palestinian territories as well as their important mission at the national and developmental levels.

He reviewed the extent of incitement, charges and attacks perpetrated by the Israeli occupation authorities against Palestinian NGOs and their workers. He considered that targeting the private sector falls within the context of a plan to weaken the resilience of citizens at a time has become the need for relief and development services in light of the deterioration of economic, social and cultural rights.

For his part, Bassem Abu Jari, academic researcher at the Center, briefed on the report and explained that it aims to highlight the actual practices on the ground to the right to freedom of association, membership and participation, and the extent of the authorities' commitment to the provisions of international conventions and human rights treaties.

He also touched upon the main axes mentioned in the report, which constitute a real challenge to the realization of the right to form associations in the Gaza Strip. Eligibility, practices and procedures by the Palestinian National Authority in Ramallah and the responsible authorities in the Gaza Strip, reviewing the report's recommendations.

The attendees made remarks and recommendations aimed at enriching the report. The discussion included a consensus on the need to protect the freedom of work and formation of NGOs as one of the basic human rights.

The participants recommended stopping the restrictive measures and decisions adopted during the split period, reaffirming the relationship between the three different sectors on the basis of partnership and integration, and stressing the importance of the private sector as one of the arms of development.


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