Occupied West Bank (QNN)- Israeli occupation forces raided the offices of several Palestinian civil society rights groups in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, mainly offices of the six groups outlawed last year by ‘Israel’.
Al-Haq group reported that Israeli soldiers had stormed its offices in Ramallah, confiscating items, shutting down the main entrance with an iron plate, and leaving behind a military order declaring the organisation unlawful.
Other groups raided included Addameer, the Bisan Center for Research & Development, Defense for Children International-Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees.
In April, United Nations human rights experts urged the international community to resume funding for the Palestinian civil society groups.
“We call on the funding governments and international organisations to swiftly conclude that Israel has not established its allegations and to announce that they will continue to financially and politically support these organisations and the communities and groups they serve,” said the experts.
In July, in a joint statement, the Spokespersons of the Foreign Ministries of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden expressed their opposition to the Israeli designation of the six Palestinian civil society organisations.
The European states said in the statement, “Accusations of terrorism or links to terrorist groups must always be treated with the utmost seriousness. The designations needed therefore to be assessed carefully and extensively.”
“No substantial information was received from Israel that would justify reviewing our policy towards the six Palestinian NGOs on the basis of the Israeli decision to designate these NGOs as ‘terrorist organizations’.” “Should evidence be made available to the contrary, we would act accordingly,” the states stressed.
“In the absence of such evidence, we will continue our cooperation and strong support for the civil society in the oPT. A free and strong civil society is indispensable for promoting democratic values and for the two-state solution,” the states concluded the statement.
Following on the heels of the nine European states that rejected the controversial designation, Norway stated it will also continue to support the six Palestinian organizations, saying “in Norway’s view, the information we have received from Israel is not sufficient to justify the designation of the six organizations as ‘terrorist organizations.’ … Norway will continue its cooperation with and support to civil society in the occupied Palestinian territories.”