[News] The Six Designated Organizations Call for Urgent International Intervention to Revoke the Designations

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Thu Apr 21 10:14:05 EDT 2022


addameer.org <https://www.addameer.org/news/4768>
The Six Designated Organizations Call for Urgent International Intervention
to Revoke the Designations
------------------------------

21-04-2022

Six months have passed since Israel’s settler-colonial and apartheid regime
outlawed six of the leading Palestinian human rights and civil society
organizations (CSOs), as “terror organizations” under its 2016
Counter-Terrorism Law
<https://www.adalah.org/uploads/uploads/Adalah_Expert_Opinion_Palestinian6_Nov2021.pdf>.
This was later extended into the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)
declaring the organizations to be “unlawful associations” under
<https://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/19179.html>military order
<https://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/19179.html>*s* published on 3 November
2021.

Since then, the organizations, represented by Adalah Legal Center and the
offices of Attorney Michael Sfard and Attorney Jawad Boulous, have
undertaken formal procedures challenging the evidentiary basis of the
military orders. On 16 November 2021, the organizations’ legal team
<https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/10504>sent a letter
<https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/10504> to the Israeli authorities
demanding that they reveal the entirety of the “evidence” forming the basis
of the designation. In response,
<https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/10515> Israel’s Military Attorney,
stated in a letter dated 2 January 2021, that “the core of the declarations
is based on classified…information that cannot be disclosed.” Thereafter,
the organizations filed a
<https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/10544>procedural
objection <https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/10544> against the
military orders, noting the illegality of the declarations, the absence of
due process, and the lack of an evidentiary basis for the declaration.

The blanket criminalization and outlawing of our organizations by Israel’s
settler-colonial apartheid regime can at any time manifest itself in raids
on our offices, seizure of all assets, arbitrary arrests of staff, and
prohibition of funding, and/or even public support for our activities. As
stated <https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/10473> in the 2016
Counter-Terrorism Law, which is illegally applied in the oPt, directors and
senior staff of the organizations are at risk of facing up to 25 years in
prison, including other arbitrary measures
<https://www.adalah.org/uploads/uploads/Adalah_Expert_Opinion_Palestinian6_Nov2021.pdf>
against staff and supporters.

We understand the decades-long smear campaigns led by Israel and its
government-affiliated bodies and proxy groups to be part of Israel’s
systematic policy of silencing opposition to maintain its apartheid system
over the Palestinian people as a whole. More specifically, the designation
in itself amounts to acts of persecution and apartheid
<https://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/19143.html> under Article 2(f) of the
Apartheid Convention.

Even under a temporary and arbitrary designation, the six Palestinian CSOs
have felt the serious repercussions of Israel’s designations including:

   - The Dutch government's <https://uawc-pal.org/Files/Funding2022.pdf>
   decision <https://uawc-pal.org/Files/Funding2022.pdf> on 5 January 2022
   to end its funding for the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC);
   - The European Commission’s arbitrary
   <https://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/19424.html>funding suspension
   <https://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/19424.html> of one of Al-Haq’s projects
   funded by the European Union (EU);
   - The sentencing <https://www.addameer.org/index.php/news/4696> by an
   Israeli military judge at Ofer military court in the occupied West Bank
   on 13 February 2022, of the President of the Union of Palestinian Women’s
   Committees, Khitam Sa’afin, to 16 months imprisonment after nearly 15
   months of arbitrary detention, for her role as a director in a designated
   organisation; and
   - The continuous harassment and persecution of human right defender and
   lawyer at Addammer Salah Hamouri, arbitrary arrest
   <https://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/19778.html>ed on 7 March 2022 and placed
   under administrative detention for three months from 10 March till 6 June,
   with potential indefinite renewal of his detention order.

The consequential negative impact of this designation has also been acutely
felt by our organizations, including by hampering our critical work in
advocating to bring to an end Israel’s apartheid regime against the
Palestinian people, and the critical services we provide to those most
marginalized and at-risk in Palestinian communities including women,
children, agricultural workers, and political prisoners.

It is unacceptable that States and actors have failed to move beyond verbal
denunciations of Israel’s criminalization of Palestinian civil society; it
is intolerable that they instead take on decisions that compound the
persecution of the six Palestinian organizations, without taking any
concrete actions to dismantle the Israeli settler-colonial and apartheid
regime and hold it accountable.

As we mark six months since the designation, it is crucial that States and
allies take a serious stand. We are now urging you to act in your full
capacity and take serious measures to revoke the draconian designation
against our organizations.

As such, we call on the international community, especially the United
States, EU Member States, and Intergovernmental Organizations to:

   - Take concrete immediate action against Israel’s continued harassment
   and criminalization of Palestinian human rights defenders and CSOs; by
   calling on Israel’s Minister of “Defense” to fully rescind the designation;
   - Publicly and categorically dismiss the designation and pledge
   continued support to the six Palestinian civil society organizations,
   including where necessary, financial support of the Palestinian civil
   society organizations;
   - End complicity and silence in regard to the Israeli settler-colonial
   and apartheid regime;

Further, we call on individuals of consciousness from around the world to
bring attention to this blanket attack on Palestinian civil society and
human rights and to immediately and urgently contact their elected
officials and insist they hold Israeli authorities accountable and protect
human rights in Palestine.
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