Israeli Troops Raid Offices of Palestinian Rights Groups
During overnight raids on Thurs., in Ramallah, West Bank, Israeli forces closed the offices of seven Palestinian human rights organizations - six of which it had previously deemed terrorist organizations - confiscating items before welding doors shut.
- During overnight raids on Thurs., in Ramallah, West Bank, Israeli forces closed the offices of seven Palestinian human rights organizations - six of which it had previously deemed terrorist organizations - confiscating items before welding doors shut.
- The move has sparked international criticism, with the UN and the US urging Israel to disclose details of charges supporting the closures and to provide evidence of allegedly unlawful activities.
- Israel first accused the NGOs of being associated with terrorism in Oct. 2021, after an earlier investigation by security agency Shin Bet alleged that they had raised and laundered money for the militant Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), as well as forged documents for them, recruited activists, and witnessed high-level meetings at their offices.
- On Wed., the head of Israel's military Central Command in the West Bank rejected three of the organizations' appeals for the terrorist naming. That same day, the designation against the remaining three who didn't submit appeals was ratified into law.
- Israel's Defense Minister Benny Gantz reaffirmed on Thurs. the accusations against them, saying they recruit operatives to promote PFLP goals. However, the groups claim that this comes in retaliation to their political activism.
- The closures came hours after a Palestinian man identified as 20-year-old Waseem Nasr Khalifa was killed and at least four others were wounded during armed clashes amid an Israeli raid in Nablus to escort worshippers to Joseph's Tomb.
Sources: New York Times, Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, BBC News, and Al Jazeera.
- Pro-Palestine, as provided by Middle East Eye. These attacks against Palestinian civil society come amid a broader campaign to vilify Palestinian institutions, especially human rights groups that have criticized and denounced Israel's crimes and abuses. Hopefully, this latest crackdown will backfire as the international community has rightly stood with the NGOs after Israel failed to prove its claims.
- Pro-Israel, as provided by The Jerusalem Post. It requires a lot of naivety to believe that these NGOs represent "civil society" and aren't part of a soft-power strategy against Israel. These groups have verifiable connections with the Marxist-Leninist PFLP and yet are allowed to operate in and against Israel. Letting this go unpunished will only worsen the situation.