Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s classification of six civil society organizations in the West Bank as “terrorist” organizations is extremely dangerous to the Palestinian civic space.

 

The Civil Coalition to Promote Civil Peace and the Rule of Law affirms that Minister Benny Gantz’s decision to consider a number of Palestinian human rights institutions is extremely invalid. It is motivated by racist and discriminatory tendencies. This decision is a very dangerous step that affects Palestinian civil work. The Civil Coalition calls on the European Union countries and various international organizations to reject the decision and stop its consequences.

On Friday, 22nd October 2021, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz issued a decision to declare six Palestinian civil society organizations in the West Bank as “terrorist organizations” in a move that was condemned and rejected by the Palestinians. The institutions listed in the Israeli decision are Addameer for Human Rights, the International Movement for Defense of Children – Palestine, Al-Haq, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, the Union of Arab Women’s Committees and the Bisan Center for Research and Development.

The Civil Coalition also believes that this classification comes from these organizations, along with many others, defending the human rights system and exposing the crimes of the occupation at the international level.

The Civil Coalition calls on international human rights organizations and the world’s governments to put pressure on the occupation government and stop it from preventing the work of Palestinian civil society organizations and their vital role in building the Palestinian person. The Civil Coalition also stresses the need to not interfere with the Palestinians’ right to form organizations, supporting their rights of expression, their right to express and defend their legitimate rights in international forums, and to defend the rights of the Palestinian citizen in various fields.

The Civil Coalition for Promoting Civil Peace and the Rule of Law members include The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development— REFORM, The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy—MIFTAH, ACT institution for Studies and Alternative Means of Conflict Resolution, Human Rights and Democracy Media Center— SHAMS, Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC), the Palestinian Bar Association, The Executive Office of Refugees, The Civil Commission for the Independence of Judiciary and Rule of Law—ISTIQLAL, Aldameer Association for Human Rights, Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture, The Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution, Palestinian Youth Union, Taawon for Conflict Resolution, Shahid Center for Citizen Rights, Raya FM and Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies.