Early this morning, Israeli army forces raided the offices of six leading Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations in Ramallah. Soldiers confiscated files and equipment, welded doors shut and posted military orders declaring the offices closed. These raids are a dangerous escalation in the government’s campaign against the civil society groups falsely labeled as “terrorist organizations” last year.
A quick look at the activities of the targeted groups and you’ll see that these organizations are among the top Palestinian civic institutions that document human rights violations, provide crucial social and legal services and protect the rights of women, children, farmers, prisoners and other at-risk groups in Palestinian society.
Last October, the Israeli government designated them as “terrorist organizations” without providing any concrete proof of the claims. A series of investigative reports by our team at Local Call, in partnership with +972 Magazine and The Intercept, debunked the allegations and revealed that no meaningful evidence existed to justify the designation. Just last month, nine European governments agreed, officially rejecting the allegations against the groups after a months-long investigation concluded that “no substantial information was received from Israel that would justify reviewing our policy” toward the organizations.
You can learn more and hear directly from one of the organizations affected here. We know today’s raids are just the latest brazen step by the Israeli government to crush Palestinian civil society and silence any group — Palestinian, Israeli or international — attempting to hold it to account for its human rights violations. The six organizations will not be deterred — this is a crucial time for the international community to demand accountability and insist that Palestinian civil society be allowed to do its vital work.
Education and Outreach Director in Palestine