32 Dutch NGOs slam Israel’s targeting of Palestinian human rights organisations

Activists hang a poster in solidarity with outlawed Palestinian civil society organizations at the offices of one of them, the human rights group al-Haq, on August 18, 2022

Netherlands (QNN)- Thirty-two Dutch organisations have condemned Israel’s recent raids and closures of several Palestinian Civil Society Organizations in the occupied West Bank, saying this “escalation proves once again that statements by European governments expressing serious concerns are insufficient.”

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.

This weekend, ‘Israel’ also threatened the director of Al Haq (Shawan Jabarin) by telephone and detained the director of Defense for Children International – Palestine (Khaled Quzmar) for several hours for questioning.

In October last year, 32 Dutch organisations condemned Israel’s decision to designate six organisations (now seven) as terrorist on the basis of Israeli anti-terror laws. On 12 July 2022, the Netherlands and eight other EU countries expressed their support for the organisations. The EU countries have so far not seen any evidence of the terrorist designation and therefore rejected the Israeli allegations, as “no substantial information has been received from Israel that would justify a review of our policy towards the six Palestinian NGOs on the basis of the Israeli decision to designate these NGOs as ‘terrorist organisations’”.

In response, the thirty-two Dutch organizations reiterated their support for the Palestinian human rights groups after being raided and shut down by Israeli forces.

“This escalation proves once again that statements by European governments expressing serious concerns are insufficient,” the Dutch groups said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The 32 groups added, “This, together with the killing of critical journalists and other Palestinian civilians with impunity, has reached the point where the international community must set a clear boundary. This is the limit, according to a broad representation of Dutch organisations.”

“What we warned about in October is happening,” the groups said, adding Israel’s action is “in an attempt to suppress the work of human rights defenders” and a “serious violation of the right to freedom of expression and freedom of association and assembly.”

“This ever-increasing restriction on civil society is not in keeping with a country that claims to be a democratic state based on the rule of law.”

Several of the seven organisations that have been affected provide evidence of alleged war crimes by ‘Israel’ to the International Criminal Court.

The Netherlands, as host country of the ICC, has an “additional responsibility to ensure that civil society organisations, individuals and states can continue to provide the ICC with evidence and information,” the Duch organizations noted

“Without significant action, the longstanding pattern of repression and undermining of Palestinian organisations will further deteriorate.”

“This is unacceptable and it has become clear that statements alone are not enough to make Israel change its policy.”

The Duch organizations have called the international community to” immediately” take serios actions in the face of the threat to the existence of Palestinian civil society organisations and human rights defenders.

The groups also urged “at the highest diplomatic level that Israel withdraws the charges” against the seven organisations and brings the underlying anti-terror legislation into line with international law.

PAX, Amnesty International Nederland, SOMO, The Rights Forum, European Legal Support Center, Defence for Children Nederland, ActionAid Netherlands, Both Ends, Human Security Collective, Stichting Aflatoun International, Right to Play Netherlands, and Transnational Institute (TNI) are among the 32 groups who signed the statement.

(Source / 24.08.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Nine Palestinians In West Bank

On Wednesday dawn, Israeli soldiers abducted at least nine Palestinians from their homes in several parts of the occupied West Bank, after the army conducted vast and violent searches of homes.

In Nablus, in the northern West Bank, the soldiers abducted Awni Shakhsheer from Ras al-Ein and Montaser Shonnar from Tal Street.

In occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers invaded Qatanna town, northwest of the city, searched homes, and abducted Mohammad Adnan Taha.

In Bethlehem, the soldiers invaded the al-Azza refugee camp and Husan town, north and west of the city, and abducted Mohammad Mustafa Najjar and Qatada Nasser Shousha, from their homes.

In addition, the soldiers invaded Beit Sahour, east of Bethlehem, before storming the home of George Nasri and violently searching it, damaging furniture and windows.

In Ramallah, in the central West Bank, the soldiers abducted four Palestinians, including three former political prisoners, from the al-Jalazoun refugee camp, al-Biereh city, and Silwad town,

The abducted are Assem Ka’bi, from al-Biereh city, Mustafa Orabi Nakhla from the al-Jalazoun refugee camp, Mohammad Ezzat Hammad, 30, from Silwad town, and Ahmad Bajes Haddad from Beit Rima northwest of Ramallah.

It is worth mentioning that Assem, Mustafa, and Hammad are former political prisoners.

(Source / 24.08.2022)

Soldiers Abduct Three Palestinians, Injure Many, In Jenin

On Wednesday dawn, Israeli soldiers abducted three Palestinians, detained two for a few hours, and injured many Palestinians in Jenin refugee camp, in Jenin, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

Eyewitnesses said at least 70 armored military vehicles invaded the refugee camp before the soldiers stormed and ransacked homes.

They added that the soldiers then occupied rooftops of surrounding buildings to use as firing posts and military towers.

Many Palestinians protested the invasion before the soldiers fired many live rounds, gas bombs, and concussion grenades, causing dozens to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation.

The soldiers also abducted Essam Mohammad Abu Khalifa, Soheib Issa al-Ghoul, and Emad Omar Abu al-Haija, and took them to an unknown destination, in addition to detaining two others, Kamel Fakhri Hweil, and Majdi Awni Hweil, but released them a few hours later.

(Source / 24.08.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Demolish Agricultural Structure, Car Wash Facility, Near Nablus

On Wednesday, Israeli soldiers demolished an agricultural structure and a car wash facility in Huwwara town, south of Nablus, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in the northern West Bank, said the soldiers demolished an agricultural shed in the al-Lahaf area in Huwwara.

Daghlas added that the Israeli military bulldozers demolished the shed and leveled it and stated that the demolished 120 square/meter structure was built thirty years earlier.

Owned by a local farmer, Rida Tawfiq Odah, the shed contained water pipes, agricultural tools, birds, and livestock.

The soldiers also demolished a carwash facility near the main entrance of Huwwara and owned by Salah Fakhri.

(Source / 24.08.2022)

WAFA: Israeli settlers vandalize Palestinian vehicles north of Salfit

SALFIT, Wednesday, August 24, 2022 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers today vandalized Palestinian vehicles in Marda village, north of Salfit, according to a local official.

Head of Marda Village Council, Nasfat Khuffash, said that a group of settlers sneaked their way into the village, punctured the tires of four vehicles and scrawled anti-Palestinian hate graffiti on the external walls of a nearby house.

Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities.

Settler violence includes property and mosque arsons, stone-throwing, uprooting of crops and olive trees, attacks on vulnerable homes, among others.

There are over 700,000 Israeli settlers living in colonial settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law.

(Source / 24.08.2022)

Palestinians Hold Funeral Of Woman Killed by Israeli Soldiers 14 Months Earlier

On Tuesday, hundreds of Palestinians marched in the funeral ceremony and procession of a woman killed by Israeli soldiers fourteen months earlier, and the military refused to release her corpse since her death.

The soldiers fatally shot the slain woman, Mai Affana, 29, on June 16, 2021, at the Zaim military roadblock, east of occupied Jerusalem. She has a psychology degree and worked at the Istiqlal University in Jericho.

The corpse was returned to her fourteen months after the soldiers killed her at the same military roadblock.

Her funeral ceremony was held at a local mosque in her hometown, Abu Dis, east of the occupied capital, Jerusalem.

The soldiers opened fire at Afaneh, who was a doctor, and the mother of an eight-year-old girl, when she drove her vehicle down a road that was under construction, at the entrance to Hizma town. Local sources reported that Afaneh apparently had accidentally driven her vehicle down the wrong road and was trying to turn around when she was shot.

The army claimed that the slain woman attempted to ram her car into a number of Israeli soldiers before exiting the vehicle with a knife” the Anadolu Agency reported.

But the Israeli authorities offered no evidence to back their claim. The claim also goes against the forensic evidence showing that Mai was in her car when she was shot and killed.

(Source / 24.08.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Injure Many Palestinians In Hebron

On Tuesday night, Israeli soldiers invaded the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, and caused many Palestinians, including children in their homes, to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation.

Media sources said several army jeeps carried out the refugee camp invasion before the soldiers stormed, searched homes, and used their rooftops as firing posts and monitoring towers.

The sources added that many Palestinians protested the invasion before the soldiers fired a barrage of gas bombs and concussion grenades at them and surrounding homes.

Dozens of Palestinians, including many children, suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation.

(Source / 24.08.2022)

Israeli Army Halts Construction Of Ten Homes And A Shop

On Tuesday, Israeli soldiers handed military orders halting the construction of ten Palestinian homes and one shop, in addition to banning the rehabilitation of farmlands, in Nahhalin town, west of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.

Ibrahim Ghayatha, the head of Nahhalin Town Council, said the soldiers invaded the Khallet ad-Daliya area, in the southern part of the town, and handed an order halting the construction of a shop on land owned by Thieb Ismael Shakarna.

Ghayatha added that the soldiers also handed three orders banning the rehabilitation of farmlands in the Khallet Skeik area, west of Nahhalin. One of the Palestinians who received one of those orders was identified as Mousa Sheikh Zakarna.

The army also handed halt construction orders targeting ten homes in the Bakoush area in the town. The under-construction homes are owned by Mohammad Ibrahim Atiya, Samer Ahmad Amin, Nimir Ismael Abdul-Hafeth, Ahmad Khaled Mahmoud, Mohammad Hasan Abdul-Hafeth, Ahmad Mahmoud Abdul-Hafeth, Mohammad Hasan Yassin, Mohammad Mahmoud Atiya, Ahmad Mahmoud Atiya and Mohammad Ismael Suleiman.

(Source / 24.08.2022)