Israel outlaws human rights organizations


Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Oct. 19 declared six Palestinian human rights groups to be “terrorist organizations,” effectively outlawing their activities. The declaration was based on a military finding that they are “secretly linked” to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)–a leftist resistance group that Israel has long designated a “terrorist organization.” The named groups are Addameer, al-Haq, the Bisan Center, Defense for Children Palestine (DCIP), the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC).

International rights groups Humans Rights Watch and Amnesty International released a joint statement calling the announcement a “brazen attack on human rights.” The Israeli rights group B’Tselem called the declaration “an act characteristic of totalitarian regimes, with the clear purpose of shutting down these organizations.”

On July 29, DCIP, which documents Israeli rights violations against Palestinian children, was targeted in a military raid, in which Israeli soldiers broke into their offices in the West Bank town of al-Bireh, confiscating computers and files. At the time, DCIP’s director, Khaled Quzmar, called the raid part of “an ongoing campaign to silence and eliminate Palestinian civil society and human rights organizations.” (Palestine Chronicle)

Photo of raid on DCIP office via YouTube

  1. Israeli forces raid, shut down humanitarian group

    Israeli forces raided the Ramallah offices of Defense for Children International-Palestine, confiscating files and a computer. Upon leaving, they welded the door shut and taped a military order to it, effectively closing the DCIP office. (DCIP via IMEMC)

  2. US cannot corroborate claims against Palestinian NGOs

    The US government says it cannot corroborate Israel’s claims against Palestinian nongovernmental groups operating in the West Bank, which Israel accused of being terror organizations late last year. This week, Israeli police raided the offices of seven NGOs, shutting down their offices. (PRI)

  3. HRW protests Biden inaction on Israeli rights violations

    Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Aug. 22 wrote an open letter to US President Joe Biden’s Administration about the Israeli government’s targeting of seven notable Palestinian Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). HRW state: “The US government’s failure to censure Israel’s human rights violations while continuing to provide it with matchless military and political support is understood as US acquiescence to these actions, and clearly the Israeli government feels empowered to repress Palestinian civil society with impunity… By its silence and inaction to condemn Israel’s actions against the Palestinian organizations while continuing to provide unconditional U.S. military and political support to Israel, the Biden Administration is effectively acquiescing to repressive attacks on Palestinian civil society.”

  4. Israel court sentences NGO leader to 12 years in prison

    An Israeli court on Aug. 30 sentenced Mohammed al-Halabi to 12 years in prison. Al-Halabi is the Gaza director for international Christian charity World Vision. This decision comes after al-Halabi spent six years in Israeli detention and attended 172 court hearings. Halabi was convicted in June of 13 charges. Authories allege that he diverted funds from World Vision into the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Independent audits and investigations carried out in recent years have found no evidence of wrongdoing by al-Halabi. (Jurist)