A Palestinian perspective on the discussion and efforts needed to compel Israel to reverse its decision.
By Ahmed Abofoul | Opinio Juris | Nov 15, 2021
…the current reality is that the fate of these organizations and their staff depends profoundly on the international community’s unequivocal condemnations and the concrete actions taken thereafter.
On 19 October 2021, the Israeli Defense Ministry, Benny Gantz, designated six Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations (CSOs) as “terrorist organizations,” under Israel’s domestic Counter-Terrorism Law of 2016. On 7 November 2021, it was reported that the Israeli army had issued a military order extending the application of Gantz’s designation to the occupied West Bank. One of these organizations is Al-Haq, with which the author is proudly associated. Established in 1979, not only was Al-Haq the first Palestinian independent non-governmental human rights organization, but also one of the earliest in the region and the world. Al-Haq has a specific mandate to “protect and promote human rights and the rule of law” in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). To that end, Al-Haq “documents violations of the individual and collective rights of Palestinians in the [oPt], irrespective of the identity of the perpetrator, and seeks to end such breaches by way of advocacy before national and international mechanisms and by holding the violators accountable.”
On 4 November 2021, a joint investigation from The Intercept and the +972 and Local Call –which got hold of Israel’s “secret dossier” that allegedly contains evidence against Palestinian organizations– showed that it “did not provide a single piece of evidence” for declaring the Palestinian CSOs as “terrorist.” The investigations further showed that Israel had hoped its “secret dossier” would convince European governments to stop funding these organizations. It also showed that European senior officials affirmed that since Gantz’s decision, “Israel has ignored all requests for more information on the matter.” This, in the author’s view, proves the falseness of Israel’s claims appears to be proven beyond any reasonable doubt.