Palestinian human rights teams designated by Israel as “terrorist organisations” have referred to as for worldwide assist to reverse the choice, which has the potential to compromise their potential to do humanitarian work.
A army order signed by Israel’s Defence Minister Benny Gantz on Friday successfully outlawed six organisations, inserting them liable to imminent reprisals. They had been accused of being linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), whose armed wing has carried out lethal assaults in opposition to Israelis.
Al-Haq, an organisation documenting rights violations since 1979, denied the accusations and referred to as for “international solidarity”.
“It is no coincidence that Israel’s recent escalation of punitive measures against Al-Haq and fellow civil society organisations has come in the immediate aftermath of the opening of an International Criminal Court investigation into Israel’s crimes in the Situation in Palestine,” the group mentioned in a press release.
Former ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda decided in March that sufficient preliminary proof existed to justify an investigation into potential warfare crimes within the Palestinian territories. Israel has mentioned it will not cooperate with the inquiry.
“The baseless allegations represent an alarming and unjust escalation of attacks against the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom, justice and the right to self-determination,” Al-Haq mentioned.
Addameer, an organisation specializing in prisoners’ rights that has additionally been blacklisted, was among the many promoters of the petition calling on the highest UN court docket to launch the inquiry.
In a tweet, it referred to as the army order an try to “criminalise” the work of civil society organisations “that challenge Israel’s prolonged military occupation”.
The organisation has referred to as on the worldwide group to take motion by pressuring Israel to withdraw the designation and “cease the employment of illegal practices and policies of intimidation and harassment” in opposition to civil society organisations.
It additionally argued the designation represents an “egregious and unlawful” utility of Israeli home legislation to the occupied Palestinian territories that contravenes the Palestinian peoples’ internationally recognised proper to self-determination.
The designations characterize an unprecedented & ominous try by the Israeli occupying authorities to silence and criminalize Palestinian CSOs that problem Israel’s extended army occupation, entrenched settler-colonization & apartheid of Palestine. https://t.co/1qLzqo18lQ pic.twitter.com/ZZaKswnxha
— Addameer –الضمير (@Addameer) October 22, 2021
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have warned the designation provides Israeli safety forces the authority to shut the teams’ workplaces, seize their belongings and arrest and jail their workers members. Funding and even publicly expressing assist for his or her actions can be prohibited.
Addameer referred to as on “donors, supporters, and human rights actors around the world to condemn the arbitrary designations and intimidation tactics and to publicly reiterate their support of the Palestinian civil society organisations”.
The different 4 teams focused by Israel embrace Defence for Children International-Palestine, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees.
‘Escalate repressive tactics’
Khaled Quzmar, basic director of Defence for Children International-Palestine, mentioned native human rights teams have been working in a hostile surroundings the place “disinformation campaigns” have gotten more and more frequent.
“After years of delegitimisation and disinformation campaigns against us have failed to silence our work, Israeli authorities now chose to escalate repressive tactics by labelling civil society organisations as terrorists,” Quzmar mentioned in a press release.
“We demand that the international community use all available means to hold Israeli authorities accountable … and act to end complicity and support to the Israeli apartheid regime,” he mentioned.
Israel’s defence ministry has not commented on its determination or launched any proof to assist its accusations.
The UN Human Rights Office within the occupied Palestinian territory mentioned on Saturday the explanations cited by Israel’s defence minister had been “vague or irrelevant”, and denounced his determination as the newest move in a “long-stigmatising campaign” in opposition to the organisations.
Israel’s terrorist label for the six teams seems to have caught the United States and Europe off-guard.
It may power them to select a facet at a time when efforts to barter the phrases of a Palestinian state alongside Israel are hopelessly slowed down.
The US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price mentioned his workplace had not been given advance warning of the designation.
“We will be engaging our Israeli partners for more information regarding the basis for the designation,” Price mentioned on Friday on a phone briefing with reporters in Washington.
“We believe respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and a strong civil society are critically important to responsible and responsive governance,” he mentioned.
Some Democratic members of the US Congress positioned themselves in opposition to Israel’s determination on Saturday, with Representative Betty McCollum noting its actions had been “anti-democratic and contrary to the values expected of a US ally”.
Representative Ilhan Omar referred to as Israel’s move “a textbook way to evade accountability for human rights violations and an affront to everyone who cares about peace”.
Americans for Peace Now, a US-based Jewish organisation calling for a decision to the decades-long battle, has referred to as the move “deeply troubling”.