This morning, the Israeli military raided the office of our partner Al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights organization, in West Bank, occupied Palestinian territory , and five other Palestinian civil society organisations. After forcibly raiding the offices, property was confiscated and main doors were sealed shut, leaving behind a military notice declaring the organisations unlawful.
These raids are the latest escalation in the ongoing repression of Palestinian civil society by Israel. Last year, Israel designated these six NGOs – Al-Haq, Addameer, the Bisan Center for Research & Development, Defence for Children International-Palestine, Union of Agricultural Workers Committees (UAWC), and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC) – as terrorist groups. Last month, legal representatives of the organisations also became the target of , impeding on the basic right of legal representation.
Al Haq: Protect civil society
Al-Haq calls on the international community to “to immediately intervene to protect the six designated organisations, whose finances and assets risk being confiscated, and their staff members, directly targeted, arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned.”
On 12 July 2022, nine European countries, including the Netherlands, released a joint statement declaring that “no substantial information was received from Israel that would justify reviewing our policy towards the six Palestinian NGOs on the basis of the Israeli decision to designate these NGOs as ‘terrorist organizations’.”
Dutch government and other States must take action
SOMO is determined to continue its corporate accountability work with Al-Haq, partially funded by the Netherlands, and calls upon the Dutch government, as well as other third States to:
- Publicly condemn and take action to push Israel to immediately reverse the military orders designating the six organizations as terrorist groups and commanding the closure of their offices.
- Continue and increase support, including core funding to the six organisations, and engage with financial institutions within their jurisdiction to ensure uninterrupted transfer of funds to the six organisations.