The undersigned organizations protest yesterday's aggressive treatment of three Palestinian civil society organizations by the Israeli military and demand that all property seized be restored and that the work of civil society organizations—and especially those comprised of human rights defenders – be protected and respected.
Early morning yesterday, 11 December 2012, just a few hours after the end of International Human Rights Day, the Israeli military entered the offices of three Palestinian organizations in Ramallah: Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights; Union of Palestinian Women’s Committee and the Palestinian NGO Network. The organizations were not provided with any explanation for the search or shown a search warrant and their staff members were not present during the search. The soldiers caused extensive damage to some of the offices and confiscated computers, hard discs, cameras and other essential equipment.
Addameer office after the raid. Photo: Iyad Hadad, B'Tselem, 11 Dec. 2012
The undersigned organizations emphasize that all individuals have the right to freedom of association, and to be free from arbitrary or unlawful interference in their homes and offices, and to due process of law. It is particularly important that human rights organizations enjoy such rights so that they can protect and ensure the rights of others. A free civic space within which Palestinian individuals are able to organize is critical for the protection of Palestinian's basic rights. Actions such as those taken by the Israeli military threaten this free civic space and damage the protection Palestinian human rights.
Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel; The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI); B’Tselem - The Israeli information center for human rights in the occupied territories; Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement; Hamoked – Center for the Defence of the Individual; Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-Israel); The Public Committee against Torture in Israel (PCATI); Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR); Yesh Din