‘Your cause is our cause; your freedom is our freedom’
The Global Network on the Question of Palestine (GNQP) strongly condemns the Israeli government’s military decree of 19 October 2021 declaring six Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to be “terrorist organizations”.
One of these organizations, Al-Haq, the West Bank affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists, is a distinguished member of our Network. We express our unconditional solidarity with its leadership and staff, as well as with the other organizations targeted by this latest Israeli initiative. An initiative aimed at criminalizing those who seek to document its violations of Palestinian rights and international law, as well as hold it accountable for its actions, and provide assistance to its victims. To Addameer, Al Haq, Defense for Children International-Palestine, Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Bisan Center for Research and Development and Union of Palestine Women Committees, We say:
‘You are not alone. Your cause is our cause, your freedom is our freedom’.
As a Network and as individual members, We stand united against this brazen Israeli attack on Palestinian human rights defenders, which is but the latest in a pattern of such Israeli abuses stretching back decades. GNQP fully endorses the joint declaration issued by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International on 22 October, which concludes, “How the international community responds [to the Israeli designations] will be a true test of its resolve to protect human rights defenders.”
Recognizing the gravity of the current situation and looming risks faced by Palestinian humanitarian actors and Palestinian human rights defenders, GNQP urgently calls upon:
– All partners of the targeted organizations to take an unequivocal position in their support, and demand that the Israeli government immediately and unconditionally revoke its 22 October 2021 military order criminalizing these organizations.
– Governments that assert their foreign policy seek to promote human rights and protect human rights defenders to adopt concrete measures, individually and collectively, to compel Israel to rescind its military order. Experience has amply demonstrated that mere statements of regret, concern and even condemnation unaccompanied by consequences only encourage and embolden Israel further.
– The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Ms. Mary Lawlor, as the Special Rapporteur on The Situation of Human Rights Defenders, to join our call and lead the issuance of a joint statement, endorsed by all UN Special Procedures, on this issue.
– The recently appointed UN Commission of Inquiry, whose mandates include addressing all underlying causes of systematic human rights violations ‘on both sides of the Green Line’, to also investigate the persecution of Palestinian human rights defenders and organizations.