General Director of Al-Haq receives threatening phone call from Israeli Intelligence

Al-Haq director Shawan Jabarin

Ramallah (QNN)- The General Director of Al-Haq, which is one of several Palestinian Civil Society Organizations raided and shut down last week by ‘Israel’ in the occupied West Bank, received today a threatening phone call from Israeli Security Service, the Shabak.

At 9:31 am local time on Sunday, Shawan Jabarin received a phone call from a person introducing himself as captain Fahed of the Israeli Security Service, the Shabak, who demanded that Shawan arrives for interrogation at the Ofer military base of the Israeli occupation forces, located near Ramallah, according to the Al-Haq.

Jabarin refused to comply and told the person he has no guarantees that he is a real person from the Shabak. The person then said he could send Shawan a message to whatsapp.

Al-Haq said that Shawan responded that as an individual whose work is done in accordance with international law, he will not take the call seriously and that an official letter through a lawyer needs to be sent, or that the Israeli forces could visit him in Ramallah, but that he will not go to Ofer.

The caller then told Shawan that ‘Israel’ and the Israeli forces have declared Al-Haq to be an “illegal entity and a terrorist organization that was shut down and that Israel will not allow the organization to remain open and functioning.”

The caller then falsely claimed that Al-Haq has ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a Marxist-Leninist Palestinian resistance group, which was listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation in 1997 by the US State Department, and that Shawan is also a member of the PFLP.

Shawan responded that all these accusations are “utter nonsense and complete lies and that Israel continues to fabricate allegations against Palestinian civil society organizations and human rights defenders.”

The caller then threatened Shawan that a “price, including a personal price from Shawan, will be paid through imprisonment, interrogations and other measures, if Al-Haq continues to work.”

During the phone call, which lasted around five minutes as Al-Haq stated, Shawan asked the caller if he is being threatened, and the caller confirmed and reiterated that a personal price will be paid and that ‘Israel’ will not allow Al-Haq to continue its work.

The human rights group urgently demanded in a statement that the “international community immediately take targeted and effective action to protect Al-Haq, its General Director Shawan Jabarin and other Palestinian civil society organizations and human rights defenders, who are now facing existential threats.”

In the early morning of 18 August 2022, Israeli occupation forces forcibly entered, raided, ransacked and damaged properties of six designated Palestinian civil society organizations: Al-Haq, Addameer, the Bisan Center for Research & Development, Defence for Children International-Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Workers Committees (UAWC), and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC).

According to the groups, the armed military forces bashed through the front doors of the offices, welded iron slabs over their entrances, and affixed to each a military order for the immediate closure of the organization and their offices.

Private property and information from three of the offices were seized, adjoining properties damaged and military debris, including sponge-grenades, teargas canisters, and rubber coated and live bullets, were left around the properties. The violent enforcement of these designations impose financial and safety risks upon these organizations, as their finances and assets may be confiscated and their staff members directly targeted, arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned.

The office of Health Work Committees (HWC) was also broken into and raided.

According to the military orders, having been previously designated by Israeli occupation as “terrorist” organisations on 19 October 2021 under Israel’s domestic Counter Terrorism Law, 2016, and later under military order on 3 November 2021 as “unlawful associations” per Article 319 of the Defense (Emergency) Regulations of 1945, the offices of the six organisations have been ordered shut as illegal.

In addition, the military order also considers the work activities conducted inside the organizations as illegal.

Following the raids and closures, the groups said in a joint statement that Israel’s “unlawful and aggressive incursion poses an existential threat to Palestinian civil society.”

The groups said the Israeli actions “seeks to dismantle crucial mechanisms that work to uphold human rights and end Israel’s settler colonial and apartheid regime, which systematically denies the Palestinian people their right to self-determination and the right of refugees to return.”

“The closure of the organizations follows a failure of the international community to take meaningful concrete actions to hold Israel accountable for designating the organizations as grave violations of international law, including persecution and apartheid,” the huamn rights groups added.

(Source / 21.08.2022)

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