Israeli suppression of Palestinian rights organizations ‘illegal and unacceptable’

24 August 2022Human Rights

Twenty-four UN-appointed independent human rights experts condemned on Wednesday, Israel’s escalating attacks against Palestinian civil society in the occupied West Bank, describing it as “illegal and unacceptable”.

During a raid last week, the Israeli army broke into and shut down the offices of seven Palestinian human rights and humanitarian groups operating in Ramallah, located in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).

UN experts call for determined action to put diplomatic pressure on #Israel to restore rule of law, justice & human rights in occupied Palestinian territory, following escalating attacks against Palestinian civil society in the occupied #WestBank: https://t.co/LUtsSNYSxU pic.twitter.com/ysh39P2B5Y

— UN Special Procedures (@UN_SPExperts) August 24, 2022

These actions amount to severe suppression of human rights defenders and are illegal and unacceptable,” the experts said, encouraging UN Member States to use international law to end the abuses.

‘Unlawful’ designations

Last Thursday at dawn, Israeli forces raided the offices of seven Palestinian human rights groups causing extensive property damage and issuing military orders to shut them down.

This followed Israel’s earlier characterization of those organizations as “terrorist” and “unlawful”.

“These designations and declarations are illegitimate and unjustifiable and no concrete and credible evidence substantiating Israel’s allegations has ever been provided,” said the experts, echoing observations that they had made in April.

Hurling accusations

On 18 and 21 August, Israeli security service Shin Bet interrogated the directors of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, Al-Haq and Defence for Children-Palestine – three of the seven shuttered organizations.

The experts were particularly concerned over alleged threats made by Shin Bet against the organizations, including a public statement regarding Al-Haq’s director, Shawan Jabarin.

“The Israeli Government has taken multiple measures to undermine civil society organiz

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