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Human rights groups condemn Israeli raids on Palestinian NGOs

By staff |
December 17, 2012
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Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council about the Dec. 12 raids by Israeli Occupation Forces on Palestinian NGOs.

Joint Statement: The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council Condemns the IOF Raid on the Offices of Three Palestinian NGOs in Ramallah

Ramallah, 12 December 2012 – The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) strongly condemns yesterday morning’s raid by Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) on the office of a number of Palestinian non-governmental organizations in Ramallah.

At about 3am this morning, IOF raided the offices of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, the Palestinian NGO Network and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committee. Addameer is a member of the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council.

During these raids, the offices of all three organizations were ransacked, and their computers, files and video equipment were stolen.

From Addameer’s offices four computers, a hard drive, a video camera and business cards of the employees were taken. It remains unclear as to the amount of Addameer files and documentation also taken. Posters of prisoners and hunger strikers were also ripped from the walls and strewn around the office.

The Palestinian NGO Network office was ransacked, though it appears that no equipment was taken. However, it is still unclear whether data was pulled from the server.

During the raid of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committee, located in Qaddoura refugee camp in Ramallah, seven computers were taken, as well as the main servers and a number of cameras. In addition, 3000 NIS (about US$ 790) was stolen.

PHROC is deeply concerned about the targeting of civil society organizations, especially those that work in defense of human rights.

PHROC recognizes this brutal raid as part of the continuous campaign to target and hinder the work of human rights organizations and their supporters, as well as to gather information on the employees of civil society organizations.

In October, Ayman Nasser, a researcher with Addameer, was arrested for his work defending human rights and standing in solidarity with prisoners. To date Ayman remains in Israeli detention. Similarly, during the hunger strikes in 2011 and 2012, Addameer chairperson Abdullatif Ghaith was issued a travel ban preventing him from traveling within the West Bank and abroad.

This most recent IOF attack on civil society organizations is an attempt to silence and threaten human rights initiatives for Palestinians. PHROC calls on the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the International Committee of the Red Cross and international human rights organizations to pressure the Occupying Power to end such attacks and crimes against Palestinian human rights, legal and civil institutions. Palestinian civil society will not be deterred by these continuous attacks and will continue our work as long as human rights are being violated in occupied Palestine territory.

The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council:

Addameer Prisoners’ Support and Human Rights Association

Sahar Francis

General Director

 

Addameer Association for Human Rights

Khalil Abu Shammala

General Director

 

Al-Haq

Shawn Jabarin

General Director

 

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

Issam Younis

General Director

 

Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights

Najwa Darwish

General Director

 

Defence for Children International Palestine Section

Rifat Kassis

General Director

 

Ensan Center for Human Rights and Democracy

Shawqi Issa

General Director

 

Hurryyat - Centre for Defense of Liberties and Civil Rights

Helmi Al-araj

General Director

 

Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights

Issam Aruri

General Director

 

Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies

Iyad Barghouti

General Director

 

Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling

Maha Abu Dayyeh

General Director

 

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