Gaza, ALRAY - UN human rights experts have called on the international community to take immediate and effective steps to protect and sustain the six Palestinian civil society groups that were designated as "terrorist organisations" by the Israeli occupation last October.
“Israel’s disturbing designation of these organizations as ‘terrorist organisations’ has not been accompanied by any public concrete and credible evidence,” the experts said in a statement.
They emphasized that the information presented by the Israeli occupation has also failed to "convince a number of governments and international organizations that have traditionally provided funding for the indispensable work of these six organizations."
In a previous statement last October, the experts condemned the Israeli occupation's designation of the six Palestinian NGOs - Addameer; Al-Haq; the Union of Agricultural Work Committees; the Bisan Centre for Research and Development; the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees; and Defence for Children International - Palestine – as terrorist organizations.
This move enables the Israeli occupation to close the organizations, seize their assets, end their work and charge their heads and staff with "terrorist offences," they noted.
In light of this, the experts called on the funding governments and international organizations to "swiftly conclude that Israel has not established its allegations and to announce that they will continue to financially and politically support these organizations and the communities and groups they serve."
The European Union has formally suspended funding for two of these NGOs, undermining their work and leaving an incalculable impact on the communities they support.
“We are deeply disturbed by Israel’s apparent misuse of anti-terrorism legislation to attack some of the leading civil society organizations in Palestine. Such misuse must be rejected and countered,” the experts said.
The human rights experts commended the indispensable work of Palestinian civil society in holding the Israeli occupation accountable for its occupation and human rights violations and in promoting democratic principles and human rights within Palestinian society.