FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 22, 2022
Contact: Director of Communications
(212) 679-5100, ext. 5
NEW YORK CITY, NY — On August 18, Israeli troops raided the offices of six human rights organizations, confiscated their materials, and shut down the entrances. All the organizations’ offices are located in Area A of the occupied West Bank, which is legally a Palestinian Authority-administered area. In a letter to the U.S. Secretary of State, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) urges the U.S. government to condemn these violent human rights violations and demand that, at minimum, Israel allow these organizations to resume their operations.
In October 2021, the Israeli government unjustly assigned a terrorist designation to these six organizations: Al-Haq, Addameer, Defense for Children International – Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees. These groups provide critical services for Palestinian women and girls, children, low-income families, workers, farmers, prisoners, and civil society activists, including monitoring and documenting human rights violations. Israel prohibits international investigative bodies from accessing occupied territory, so these local organizations are often the only groups allowed to do on-the-ground human rights monitoring.
“By raiding these organizations, Israel escalated its ongoing human rights violations by denying Palestinians access to essential services and human rights monitoring,” said Suzanne Adely, NLG President. “The United States must condemn these actions, as the lives and safety of millions of Palestinians urgently depends on it. The State Department must immediately call on the Israeli government to rescind the terrorism designations and cease harassment.”
In a joint statement, the six organizations elaborated on the violent attacks.
“The dismantling of Palestinian civil society is a dangerous and repressive measure, designed to quash human rights investigation, monitoring and oversight of governing authorities in the OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territory], with widespread and generational consequences for the protected civilian population,” the statement said.
NLG urges all allied organizations to join in condemning these latest attacks on Palestinian human rights and, more broadly, in solidarity with the struggle for Palestinian liberation.
The National Lawyers Guild has used law to promote human rights over property interests for 85 years. For more information on our International Solidarity work, please visit the NLG website.