As a group of regional and international organizations, we express our full solidarity with Palestinian civil society and human rights defenders as Israel continues to escalate its attacks to shut down critical human rights work and silence opposition to its occupation of Palestinian territory and apartheid over the Palestinian people as a whole. We urge the international community to take all necessary action to support and protect Palestinian civil society and human rights defenders and ensure the continuation of their invaluable work.

On 19 October 2021, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz designated six leading Palestinian civil society organizations as terrorist organizations, including 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).

The Israeli government has continued to intensify its attacks on independent Palestinian human rights organizations and their staff, who regularly face smear campaigns, spurious accusations of links to terrorism as well as threats and intimidation, travel bans and movement restrictions, and arrest for their work. Independent Israeli and international organizations have also been targeted by Israel for their work documenting and advocating against Israel’s human rights violations. Israel’s actions clearly follow the pattern set by authoritarian states in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and around the world.

This unprecedented designation is merely the latest escalation in Israel’s widespread and systematic institutionalized campaign that has aimed to silence and discredit any Palestinian individual or organization that dares seek accountability for Israel’s grave human rights violations, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The “persecution of organizations and persons, by depriving them of fundamental rights and freedoms, because they oppose apartheid” is one of the methods used by Israel to maintain its domination and oppression over the Palestinian people.

On 18 October 2021, the Israeli Interior Minister announced the official revocation of the Jerusalem residency status of Palestinian-French human rights defender and lawyer Salah Hammouri based on “breach of allegiance” to the State of Israel, opening the way for more widespread use of residency revocation on this basis, putting thousands of Palestinians in Jerusalem at risk of arbitrary and punitive measures leading to their forcible transfer.

UN experts condemned the designations of the six NGOs as terrorist organizations “a frontal attack on the Palestinian human rights movement, and on human rights everywhere” and called upon the international community to “defend the defenders.” The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called on Israel to revoke the designations, affirming that “claiming rights before a UN or other international body is not an act of terrorism, advocating for the rights of women in the occupied Palestinian territory is not terrorism, and providing legal aid to detained Palestinians is not terrorism”. The designation has also been condemned by other international actors, including members of the US House of Representatives, European Parliamentarians as well as international civil society.

The designation presents a challenge to the international community, especially democratic states that speak out and support independent human rights organizations and defenders in other parts of the world. Remaining silent is insufficient given the urgent support and protection needs of the six organizations that are now at an additional risk of raids, confiscation of property and materials, closure of bank accounts, arrest of staff members, and closure of their offices. Israel’s attacks against these organizations pose an existential threat to independent Palestinian human rights organizations and civil society who work to monitor and document violations of human rights and provide basic services to the Palestinian people.

We call upon the international community to publicly condemn and reject Israel’s designation of Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations as “terrorist organizations” as an internationally wrongful act, to call for Israel to immediately rescind the designation, and to demand Israel repeal its Anti-Terrorism Law (2016) as it does not meet basic human rights standards and to end all other actions that deny Palestinians their inalienable human rights. We also urge members of the international community to publicly show support for the six organizations and Palestinian civil society at large.

Further, the international community, especially the European Union and its member states who are key supporters of and donors to Palestinian civil society, should ensure that banks and financial institutions in their jurisdiction are notified Israel’s designation of Palestinian organizations is unfounded and inapplicable.

Signatories:

  1. 11.11.11
  2. Abna Al-Quds Club
  3. Action for Change and Democracy in Algeria
  4. AFKAR for Educational & Cultural Development
  5. Agir pour le Changement et la Démocratie en Algérie (ACDA)
  6. Al Ataa Charitable Society
  7. Albanian Human Rights Group
  8. Al Dameer Association for Human Rights
  9. Al-Haq, Law in the Service of Man
  10. Al Karmel Culture and Social Development Association
  11. Al-Marsad Arab Human Rights Center in Golan Heights
  12. Al Mezan Center for Human Rights
  13. Altawasol Forum Society
  14. Aman Organization Against Discrimination
  15. ANSWER Coalition
  16. Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem
  17. Arab Canadian Lawyers Association
  18. Arab Center for Agricultural Development
  19. Artists for Palestine UK
  20. Asha Parivar
  21. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
  22. Asociación Paz con Dignidad
  23. Association Africaine de Défense droit de l’Homme (ASADHO)
  24. Association Belgo-Palestinienne WB
  25. Association des Magistrats Tunisiens
  26. Association des Universitaires pour le Respect du Droit International en Palestine (AURDIP)
  27. Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS)
  28. Association Internationale de Soutien aux Prisonniers Politiques
  29. Association Nachaz
  30. Association pour le Droit à la Différence (ADD)
  31. Association Tunisienne des Femmes Démocrates
  32. Association Tunisienne de Soutien des Minorités
  33. Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children
  34. Australia Palestine Advocacy Network
  35. Australian Centre for International Justice
  36. Bait Lahia Youth Association Center
  37. BankTrack – Netherlands
  38. Basma Society for Culture and Arts
  39. Basmeh & Zeitooneh
  40. Baytna
  41. Beity
  42. Belady Foundation for Human Rights
  43. BDS País Valencià
  44. Broederlijk Delen
  45. Business and Human Rights Resource Center (BHRRC)
  46. Bytes For All
  47. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
  48. Canada Palestine Association
  49. Canadian BDS Coalition
  50. Canadians for Peace and Justice in Kashmir
  51. Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME)
  52. Canada Palestine Friendship Society
  53. Carleton University Students for Justice in Palestine
  54. Catholics for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land
  55. Center for Civil Liberties
  56. Center for Constitutional Rights
  57. Center for Defense of Liberties & Civil Rights (Hurryyat)
  58. Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR)
  59. Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO)
  60. Central Blood Bank Society
  61. Coalition of African Lesbians
  1. Committee for the Respect of Freedoms and Human Rights in Tunisia
  1. Committee on the Administration of Justice (Northern Ireland)
  2. Community Empowerment and Social Justice Network (CEMSOJ)
  3. Community Media Center
  4. Conectas Direitos Humanos
  5. Confederación Intersindical Galega (CIG)
  6. Congregations of St. Joseph
  7. Citizen News Service (CNS)
  8. Citoyenneté, Développement, Cultures et migrations des deux Rives
  9. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
  10. CNCD-11.11.11
  11. Collectif des Familles de Disparus en Algérie (CFDA)
  12. Cooperazione Internazionale Sud Sud (CISS)
  13. Cultura è libertà una campagna per la Palestina
  14. De-Colonizer
  15. Defence for Children International – Italy
  16. DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project)
  17. Defender Center for Human Rights
  18. Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN)
  19. docP – BDS Netherlands
  20. Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt, NY
  21. Dr. Haider Abdel Shafi Center for Culture & Development
  22. Edmonton Run for Palestine
  23. European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP)
  24. European Legal Support Center (ELSC)
  25. European Trade Union Network For Justice in Palestine (ETUN)
  26. Fares Arab Foundation for Development
  27. FIAN International
  28. Finnish-Arab Friendship Society
  29. Free Gaza Australia
  30. Fundación Mundubat
  31. Gaza Action Ireland
  32. General and Autonomous Confederation of Workers in Algeria (CGATA)
  33. General Confederation of the Portuguese Workers (CGTP-IN)
  34. Gibanje za pravice Palestincev
  35. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  36. Grassroots AlQuds
  37. Groupe LOTUS
  38. Grup de Suport a Juani Rishmawi
  39. Gruppo Ibriq per la cultura e la causa Palestinese
  40. Hassan El Saadawi Association for Democracy and Equality
  41. Human Rights and Democracy Center (SHAMS)
  42. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
  43. International Accountability Project
  44. International Association for the Support of Political Prisoners
  45. International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
  46. International Commission to Support Palestinian Rights
  47. International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
  48. International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW AP)
  49. Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign
  50. Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU)
  51. Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)
  52. Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) – Finland
  53. Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) – Germany
  54. Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions UK
  55. Jabalia Rehabilitation Society
  56. Joussour De Citoyenneté
  57. Just Peace Advocates
  58. Jurists without Chains
  59. Justice for Iran
  60. Justitia Center for Legal Protection of Human Rights in Algeria
  61. Kairos Ireland
  62. Kairos Sabeel Netherlands
  63. Kenya Human Rights Commission
  64. Land Research Center
  65. Leadership Team of the Dominican Sisters and Associates of Racine, WI
  66. League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI)
  67. Lebanese Center for Human Rights
  68. Libya Al-Mostakbal
  69. Libyan Center for Freedom of the Press
  70. Libyan Network for Legal Aid
  71. Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace
  72. Ligue Algérienne de Défense des Droits de L’homme
  73. Ligue des droits de l’Homme
  74. Ligue Suisse des Droits de l’Homme – Genève
  75. MA’AN Development Center
  76. MADRE – USA
  77. Maine Voices for Palestinian Rights
  78. Makan
  79. MakeShiftPublishing BV
  80. Manushya Foundation
  81. Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
  82. MENA Rights Group
  83. Mwatana for Human Rights
  84. Nā Pua Kūʻē – Hawaiʻi Dissenters
  85. National Autonomous Union of Public Administration Staff (SNAPAP)
  86. National Fisheries Solidarity
  87. National Syndicate of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT)
  88. Netherlands Palestine Committee
  89. Niagara Movement for Justice in Palestine-Israel (NMJPI)
  90. NOVACT
  91. New Weapons Research Group onlus
  92. Oakville Palestinian Rights Association
  93. Odhikar
  94. One Justice
  95. Organisation 23_10 d’Appui au Processus de Transition Démocratique
  96. Österreichische Liga für Menschenrechte
  97. Our Revolution Northern Virginia (ORNOVA)
  98. Palestina Solidariteit vzw
  99. Palästina Spricht
  100. Palestinakomiteen i Larvik-Sandefjord
  101. Palestine Solidarity Alliance of South Africa
  102. Palestine Solidarity Campaign – Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland)
  103. Palestine Solidarity Campaign – Gauteng (Johannesburg)
  104. Palestine Solidarity Campaign – Cape Town
  105. Palestinian Solidarity Group at Mount Holyoke College
  106. Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA)
  107. Palestinian Assembly for Liberation
  108. Palestinian Children in Israeli Military Prisons (PIM)
  109. Palestinian Counseling Center
  110. Palestinian Youth Movement
  111. Pax Christi Flanders
  112. Pax Christi USA
  113. PeaceWomen Across the Globe
  114. Plan International – Jordan
  115. Platform of French NGOs for Palestine
  116. Portuguese League for Human Rights – Civitas
  117. Princeton Committee on Palestine
  118. Project48
  119. Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice
  120. Racial Literacy Groups
  121. Réseau International des Droits Humains (RIDH)
  122. Rumbo a Gaza
  123. Salaam Ragazzi dell’Olivo, Comitato di Trieste
  124. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
  125. Sareyyet Ramallah
  126. Sexual Rights Intiative
  127. Sheffield Labour Friends of Palestine
  128. Sinistra Italiana
  129. Socialist Party (India)
  130. SOLSOC
  131. South African BDS Coalition
  132. South African Jews for a Free Palestine (SAJFP)
  133. SumOfUs
  134. Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM)
  135. Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ)
  136. Syrian Justice and Accountability Center (SJAC)
  137. The Community Action Center at Al-Quds University
  138. The Cultural Forum Center
  139. The Culture and Free Thought Association
  140. The National Society for Democracy and Law
  141. The Palestine Committee of Norway
  142. The Palestine Project
  143. The Palestinian Developmental Women Studies Association (PDWSA)
  144. The Palestinian Human Rights Organization (PHRO)
  145. The Rights Forum
  146. The Society of Women Graduates
  147. Toronto Palestine Film Festival
  148. Trade Union Friends of Palestine
  149. Transnational Institute
  150. Trócaire
  151. Tunisian Association of Defending Individual Liberties (ADLI)
  152. Tunisian Association of the Democratic Women (ATFD)
  153. Tunisian Youth Movement in Germany
  154. UK-Palestine Mental Health Network
  155. Union Aid Abroad APHEDA
  156. Union Juive Française pour la Paix (UJFP)
  157. Union Syndicale Solidaires
  158. United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine – Israel
  159. Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights
  160. USA Palestine Mental Health Network
  161. Visualizing Palestine
  162. Viva Salud
  163. WESPAC Foundation, Inc.
  164. Women Against Violence
  165. Women in Black Vienna
  166. Women Now For Development
  167. Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC)
  168. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
  169. Women’s Studies Centre
  170. Youth Development Association (YDA)
  171. Youth for Tawergha
  172. Zochrot