Israel declares six human rights NGOs

Israel’s Ministry of Defense issued a military order on Friday (22) in which it determines that six Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are granted the status of “terrorist organizations” and, therefore, illegal entities.

With the measure, the Israeli occupation forces will be able to close the offices of the organizations, seize and confiscate their assets, arrest their members and prohibit acts of financing and support.

The affected organizations are: Addamer (Arabic word for “awareness”), al-Haq (word for “justice”, Defense of the Children of Palestine (DCI), Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Bisan Center for Research and Development and Committee of the Palestinian Women’s Union.

In other words, groups that work and advocate in the areas of human rights, Israeli accountability for international crimes and the struggle for land.

Israel claims that NGOs are linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (FPLP). “These organizations are part of a network that, under the guise of international activities, depend on the FPLP to support their objectives and promote their activities,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement.

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The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (Adalah) said the measure had reached the most prominent human rights organizations in Palestine.

“The Israeli decision to designate six human rights and civil society organizations as terrorist organizations is an unprecedented attack on human rights defenders who are exposing and resisting the Israeli occupation and its apartheid policies in the West Bank,” Adalah said.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch also criticized the Israeli decision in a statement.

In an excerpt of the statement, the two organizations say that “the international community’s decades-long failure to challenge Israeli serious human rights abuses and impose significant consequences on them has ultimately empowered Israeli authorities to act in this brazen way.”

Edition: Arturo Hartmann

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