3-civil-Palestinian coalitions say Israel’s prosecution of NGOs is a decades old issue

Following Israel’s labeling of 6 Palestinian human rights NGOs as “terror” groups, three civil Palestinian coalitions have condemned such a decision on Monday, saying the prosecution of NGOs is a decades old issue.

“Activists, men and women, are subjected to administrative detention, travel ban and house arrest, but these organizations continue to work,” said the three civil coalitions: Adaleh, the Global Palestinian Refugee and the Palestinian Disability Coalition, in a joint statement.

The groups said in the statement that the international organizations are “fully aware of the prosecutions and narrowing space for NGOs as well as shutting them down by the occupation, particularly in Jerusalem” including the EU delegation in Jerusalem.

Instead of taking positions supporting NGOs in Jerusalem and the West Bank, the groups stated, the EU is changing its position towards Palestinian NGOs, “starting with the imposition of conditions and classifying and describing seven Palestinian factions and political parties as terrorist.”

These conditions faced severe criticism by a large number of NGOs and many organizations and coalitions rejected these conditions, the statement read, adding this position will witness “an escalation in the Palestinian civil society and will reach a full boycott of politically conditioned grants by the EU and other international organizations.”

In this context, the three coalitions in their statement reiterated the call for a “unified position towards how some western development agencies treat that Palestinian civil society who must impose its own conditions, agenda and priorities and define its relation with all categories of the Palestinian society without subduing to donors’ agendas.”

The three coalitions said that during the past week, they have noted a number of international positions at country level, organizations level and some representatives of UN agencies.

The coalitions said they praise the positions of a number of these organizations, but noted that they are “extremely concerned about some positions that need to be scrutinized, analyzed and discussed.”

In this framework, the coalitions said they have noted the official position issued by the EU on Friday, 29 October, entitled Israel/Palestine on listing six Palestinian organizations on the terrorism list.

They said that the EU’s statement alleges that if substantiated evidence were to be provided that any beneficiary has made an inappropriate use of EU funds, the EU would take action to recover these funds.

If EU representatives had the courage and respect to the international law, the groups said, they must question Israel on how it obtains its information in light of the torture it implements in the dungeons of Moscovia Detention Center (Russian Compound), which is located only a few kilometers away from the EU Delegation Headquarters in Jerusalem.

(Source / 01.11.2021)

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