More than 150 organizations demand the cancellation of the closure of 7 Palestinian institutions and their classification as "terrorist".

More than 150 Palestinian, regional and international human rights organizations expressed their full solidarity with Palestinian civil society organizations, specifically the seven institutions that were closed by the Israeli occupation forces last Thursday, after raiding their headquarters in the cities of Ramallah and Al-Bireh, While the organizations demanded the international community is pressing Israel to cancel the decisions to close the headquarters of these institutions and to cancel their classification as "terrorist".

The closed institutions are: Addameer Foundation for Prisoner Support and Human Rights, Al-Haq Foundation in the Service of Humanity (Al-Haq), Bisan Research Center, International Organization for Development and Defense of Children - Palestine (DCI-P), Health Work Committees Foundation, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC). and the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees (UPWC).

In a statement, these organizations indicated that targeting the seven institutions is part of the continuous Israeli attempts to blockade Palestinian human rights work, and to silence voices opposing the occupation, and the policies of racial discrimination against the Palestinian people.

The solidarity organizations stressed the need for the international community to assume its responsibilities, to categorically condemn the Israeli targeting of Palestinian civil society, and to condemn the continuous tactics to target and suppress freedom of expression. The international community must also take all necessary measures to support and protect Palestinian civil society and Palestinian human rights defenders. to ensure that they can continue their work.

The Israeli occupation forces stormed the headquarters of the seven organizations, closed their entrances, confiscated several documents and equipment, and deliberately destroyed office furniture and possessions, and left a leaflet on the organizations’ doors closed by military orders under Article 319 of the 1945 Emergency Regulations.

This dangerous development comes as a continuation of the unprecedented decision of the Minister of the Occupation Army, Benny Gantz, last October, to classify 6 prominent Palestinian organizations as “terrorist organizations” under the Israeli Anti-Terrorism Law (2016), which was later extended to the West Bank as well on November 3. November 2021, in light of Israel's continued disregard for international standards and obligations.

According to the organizations’ statement, this decision is an additional step in Israel’s widespread and systematic campaign, which aims to silence and discredit any individual or organization that dares to seek to hold Israel accountable for its gross violations of human rights, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the occupied territories, noting that “ Persecution of organizations and people by depriving them of basic rights and freedoms because of their opposition to apartheid", one of the methods used by Israel to maintain its hegemony and oppression against the Palestinian people.

The statement stated, "The seven Palestinian organizations remain exposed to additional risks, represented in the closure of bank accounts, travel bans and arrests of their employees. Such Israeli attacks, including the recent escalation, pose an existential threat to Palestinian human rights organizations and civil society interested in monitoring and documenting violations of human rights and the provision of basic services to the Palestinian people.

The signatories to the statement of solidarity called on the international community to demand that Israel cancel its classification of Palestinian human organizations as “terrorist organizations,” cancel military orders to close their offices, repeal the Terrorism Law (2016) for failing to meet basic human rights standards, and put an end to all other measures that deprive Palestinians of their fundamental and inalienable human rights, calling on members of the international community to continue their support and funding to the targeted organizations, and to work with financial institutions to ensure the continued transfer of funds to the seven organizations.

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