Unprecedented Israeli offensive against Palestinian NGOs. France must recall its ambassador to Israel

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A statement issued by the Israeli government on Friday, October 22, announced that Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz has signed an order declaring six Palestinian human rights organizations as terrorist organizations. These are large and internationally recognized organizations: Addameer (rights of political prisoners), Al-Haq (human rights – member of FIDH), DCI-P (Defence of Children International – Palestine), UAWC (the Union of Agricultural Work Committees), the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, and the Bisan Research and Development Center.

The Association France Palestine Solidarité condemns this order of the Israeli government and assures its friends and partners of the Palestinian civil society of all its solidarity and support. Taking action on the ground as well as through their advocacy work, these Palestinian organizations are doing extraordinary work in an environment made particularly difficult by the exactions of the Israeli occupation forces: arrests of their leaders, ransacking, searches and closures of their premises…

The extremely serious nature of this decision is underlined by the Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem, which said in a tweet that this type of decision characterizes totalitarian regimes.

Palestinian human rights organizations must be protected so that they can carry out their mission.

Faced with this decision of exceptional brutality, statements are not enough. Is it necessary to remind that Al-Haq and B’Tselem were jointly awarded the French Republic’s Human Rights Prize in December 2018?

It is high time to make Israel understand that the qualification of terrorist organization that it attributes to all Palestinian organizations no longer passes -and the European Union will also have to question its classification.

But it is also and above all necessary to act quickly and strongly against this new offensive of the State of Israel against Palestinian civil society. As a first step, we ask France to immediately recall its ambassador to Israel. We ask Europe to do the same and to suspend Israel’s participation in any European program.

AFPS executive board, October 22, 2021

SourceFRANCE-PALESTINE.ORG

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