Israel escalates attacks on Palestinian human rights groups

Justice for Palestine deplore the recent military order issued by the state of Israel designating six prominent Palestinian human rights groups as “terrorist organisations”. We call on the New Zealand government to join the United Nations – and human rights organisations across the globe – in condemning this action against civil society in Palestine.

The organisations listed are the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq Law in the Service of Man (Al-Haq), Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P), the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC). These groups are active in researching and highlighting evidence-based breaches of human rights and international law by the Israeli state. The military order effectively outlaws the activities of the organisations subjecting their members to the clear and present danger of military raids and arrest.

Justice for Palestine recently worked with Defence for Children International -Palestine promoting their work on Palestinian child prisoners. In spite of their exemplary work in this area, supported by many international humanitarian organisations, repeated attempts have been made to undermine and smear their activities. For example, following a concerted campaign of misinformation, halted by libel proceedings, UK Lawyers for Israel were forced to recant allegations that Defense for Children International – Palestine provides financial or material support to any terrorist organisation.

Claims like these are part of a series of well-funded defamation campaigns geared to delegitimise humanitarian and human rights organisations coordinated by systematically biased organisations like NGO Monitor. NGO Monitor has, for many years, actively undermined the work of NGOs who support Palestinian human rights.

Justice for Palestine affirms our solidarity with the six groups and welcomes the condemnation of this action by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. We call on the New Zealand government, and all New Zealand MPs, to make clear that they will act to defend the status of all Palestinian human rights organisations to carry out their crucial work.

What you can do

Write to your MP and/or the Minister of Foreign Affairs urging them to condemn Israel’s tactics of intimidation, and to publicly support the freedom of all Palestinian human rights organisations to conduct their work without hindrance.

Image: Israeli forces raid Defense for Children International – Palestine’s headquarters in the central occupied West Bank in July 2021.

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