Statement of Solidarity with Palestinian Civil Society Organizations

Six Palestinian civil society organizations have been listed on the list of terrorism under the Israeli “Anti-Terrorism Law” of 2016, by the Minister of Security for the occupying authority in Palestine and the Syrian Golan, Benny Gates, including:

  1. ADDAMEER (Arabic for conscience) Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.
  2. Al-Haq Organization- For Human Rights.
  3. Defense for Children International – Palestine.
  4. BISAN Center for Research and Development.
  5. Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC)
  6. Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC).

Knowing that these six civil society organizations are registered with the Palestinian Ministry of Interior in accordance with the Law of Associations and NGOs.

The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM), condemns the Israeli decision, as this decision blatantly violates the rights of the Palestinians and their civil and political freedoms. SCM believes that targeting these particular institutions is part of the systematic Israeli policies that aim to obscure the practices of the occupying authority in Palestine and the Golan, and deliberately deprives the Palestinian people of the tools of peaceful resistance, especially the Palestinian civil society efforts to achieve accountability and putting an end to Israel’s impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against the Palestinians. And considers that the decision is clearly related to the International Criminal Court’s investigation into the grave violations of human rights committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories, especially since the Israeli allegations to justify this unjust decision have no basis in reality or law. 

There is no doubt that the widespread and systematic smear campaign pursued by successive Israeli governments aims to delegitimize Palestinian and international NGOs and human rights defenders by branding them as “terrorists”, simply for their advocacy of the rights of Palestinians guaranteed in international law. Including their right to self-determination, as an inalienable right by any party. From this standpoint, the decision of the Israeli Minister of Security to list Palestinian institutions under the category of “terrorist act” paves the way for targeting any human rights activity that seeks to expose the practices of the occupier in violation of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, in an effort to obscure the facts and cover up the crimes committed by the occupying authority against the Palestinians in the context of consolidating the settlement occupation regime, which is based on racial segregation and discrimination, in order to continue to dominate the Palestinian people in the occupied territories and inside Israel.

As the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) reiterates its condemnation of this unjust decision, as a dangerous escalation to undermine civil society and active human rights organizations in Palestine and inside Israel, and to limit the sources support their activities, SCM appeals to the international community, the European Union countries, and human rights organizations -International and National- to strengthen values and standards of human rights in Palestine by continuing to support and protect Palestinian civil society organizations, through urgent action, and by taking a clear position in rejecting the arbitrary decision of the Minister of Security and calling for its abolition.