RAMALLAH, The Ramallah-based Bisan Center for Research and Development said in a statement that the Israeli occupation government’s announcement to categorize it, along with five other Palestinian Palestinian civil society organizations as “terrorist organizations” affirms the criminal nature of Israeli occupation.
This announcement comes after concerted efforts in the Israeli occupation’s attempts in a defamation campaign led by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs to cut ties between these organizations and their international partners. The occupation has also targeted and imprisoned staff from these organizations, and recently forcibly shut down the Union of Health Work Committees and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, as well as breaking in and vandalizing Bisan Center for Research and Development while and stealing office equipment and files.
These organizations continue to serve their mission within the Palestinian community in spite of these obstacles and hindrances.
This steadfastness provoked the occupation to escalate its measures by announcing these organizations as “terrorist organizations,” further potentially enabling them to intensify their attacks on these organizations, their employees, and work to silence their voices, said the statement.
“If not for the complicity of the international community with the Occupation’s continuous violations against the Palestinian people and the normalization of some Arab countries with the occupation, the Israelis would not have been able to continuously and increasingly attack Palestinians and Palestinian organizations. This declaration constitutes an historical irony given that the two Israeli ministers of war and “justice” who made this decision are themselves war criminals like the rest of the current government who are fascists who brag about murdering Palestinians. These war criminals should be tried before the International Criminal Court for their crimes against humanity.”
This abysmal decision comes as a crowning moment after seven decades of the occupation state’s attempt to control the Palestinian people and silence the work of Palestinian civil society institutions who work to defend and protect Palestinian human rights, specifically their inalienable right to self-determination, it said.
Bisan Center reaffirmed the danger of this decision and its pending repercussions facing Palestinian civil society and human rights defenders.
The center demanded the international community, including INGOs and human rights defenders, to immediately: 1- Take firm actions to pressure the Occupation state to annul this categorization of the six organizations.
2- The International community, donors, partners, and actors within the human rights field affirm their refusal of this decision and prevent these arbitrary categorizations. The international community should continue standing with the Palestinian people and their just cause.
3- The Palestinian Authority announce practical steps to protect Palestinian civil society organizations based in what is known as area “A” under Palestinian Authority jurisdiction.
4- The Palestinian Authority Ministries of Justice and Interior should issue a statement confirming the illegality of the occupation ministries’ decisions regarding institutions based under Palestinian jurisdictions.
5- Activating and expanding the popular support around Palestinian civil society institutions, and providing them and their activities with protection in light of the increasing repression.
It should be noted that Bisan Center for Research and Development is an independent non-partisan center that is not affiliated with any political entity. Bisan was established in 1989 at the height of the first intifada by a group of Palestinian progressives and academics to research development models that contribute to strengthening the capabilities of the Palestinian people to liberate themselves from the occupation, or as the center termed it as “constitutional development.” Since its establishment, it has worked to be an outspoken critical voice against all practices that violate the rights of the Palestinian people to dignity, freedom and self-determination, with a priority for the poor and marginalized of the Palestinian people, and an absolute belief that freedom and rights are indivisible.
Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency