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28 Okt 2021

Israel: Former al-Haq workers issue statement in response to the designation of six Palestinian human rights groups as “terrorist”

"Statement from former al-Haq workers outside Palestine in response to the designation of six Palestinian human rights and civil society groups as “terrorist”", 25 October 2021

We are former staffers of Al-Haq, the prominent Palestinian human rights organization founded in Ramallah in the occupied Palestinian territories in 1979. Collectively, our time with al-Haq spans decades. Some of us worked with the organisation in the 1980s and 1990s, including during the first intifada and through the Oslo years. Others came later, working with Al-Haq during the second intifada and beyond... Across the region, and indeed internationally, Al-Haq is credited as an incubator for human rights activists and professionals, and for setting the gold standard in research and advocacy.

On 19 October, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz formally designated AlHaq as a “terrorist organization” under Israeli law, along with five other Palestinian human rights groups and civic organisations working in the West Bank: Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children International – Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committee and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees.

Israel’s bizarre and outrageous move was quickly and roundly condemned by Palestinian and international human rights groups around the world. PNGO (the Palestinian NGOs Network) and PHROC (the Palestinian Human Rights Organisations Council) described Israel’s move as “a sinister, unprecedented, and blanket attack on Palestinian human rights defenders and civil society organizations.”

... We stand in solidarity with Al-Haq, and with the five other Palestinian organizations similarly designated as “terrorist” by Minister Gantz. We expect our governments to take the necessary measures to ensure that Israel immediately rescinds its designation and does nothing to impede the continuation of these organizations’ human rights activities in defence of the rights of the Palestinian people...