Statement by CSOs on Israeli attack against six Palestinian NGOs
October 23, 2021

October 23, 2021 -- Palestinian civil society organizations met today at MIFTAH’s Ramallah offices to strategize against the recent Israeli government decision to label six Palestinian NGOs as “terrorist organizations” including Al Haq, Addameer, DCI, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Bisan Center and Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees. The CSOs consider this move as part of Israel’s broader assault on Palestinian civil society and human rights organizations that work to expose Israeli occupation violations against the Palestinian people.

The institutions strongly believe there must be decisive measures taken by the Palestinian Authority in response to this decision stressing the illegitimacy of the claim that these organizations are “terrorist” and expressing their firm support for them. Palestinian Authority parties must also ensure that these six NGOs are protected by declaring that they are legitimate and licensed according to the Palestinian domestic laws.

The Palestine Monetary Authority must abide by the Palestinian Authority’s decision and circulate it to national banks in order not to take actions against these NGOs so that they can continue their work in defending human rights and exposing Israeli violations. This includes shouldering their responsibilities towards these esteemed Palestinian institutions by ensuring protection for their financial status and against any potential attacks, raids or fund cuts from international parties.

In this context, the CSOs call on international parties such as foreign ambassadors, parliamentarians, and consuls to secure a position of support for these organizations and reject Israel’s allegations and to respect the Palestinian domestic laws related to CSOs. The CSOs called for targeted action within the United States in particular to reject Israel’s narrative in this regard. This includes lobbying with members of Congress and lawmakers in a bid to protect the six organizations from fund cuts and pressure on local banks to freeze their accounts.

CSO’s reject Israel smear campaign aimed at the delegitimization and criminalization of Palestinian civil society. It is the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority, Palestinian society and the international community to stand up to this Israeli assault and protect the work of these prominent Palestinian organizations from attack.