#StandWithThe6 – Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Under Attack
In August 2022, the Israeli army invaded the offices of seven Palestinian human rights organizations in the middle of the night, stealing client files about victims of Israeli violence and welding the doors shut, preventing anyone from accessing the offices, in clear violation of international law. These attacks are part of Israel’s ongoing assault against any Palestinian person or organization that dares to speak up against its colonial regime. Previously, Israel outlawed the human rights work of six of these organizations in October 2021.
These are the seven Palestinian human rights organizations that are now under attack by the Israeli regime:
- Defense for Children International Palestine defends Palestinian children in Israeli military courts and documents abuses and killings of children by Israeli forces.
- Al-Haq documents violations of Palestinians human rights across the West Bank and pushes for accountability for Israeli crimes in the International Criminal Court.
- Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association advocates for Palestinian prisoners who are being held in Israeli prisons subjected to extreme torture and violence, many of whom are political prisoners being detained without charges or trial.
- The Bisan Center for Research and Development works toward building a democratic civil society through research and development models for a besieged Palestinian society under Israel’s illegal military occupation. Additionally, Bisan works with low-income Palestinian people to push for their economic rights, and develops community youth programs.
- Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees is a feminist organization that advocates for the rights of Palestinian women living under Israeli military occupation, and provides psychological and legal support to women in need.
- Union of Agricultural Works Committees advocates for the rights of Palestinian farmers facing threats of land theft and violence from Israeli military occupation and settlers. They promote food security and sustainable farming practices.
- Health Work Committees is one of the largest health providers in the Palestinian West Bank.
The organizations listed above do vital work to protect Palestinian human rights and provide essential services that Palestinian people depend on. They advocate for Palestinian children and political prisoners, support farmers, advance grassroots feminist organizing, powerfully document Israeli human rights abuses, and advocate at the UN and other international arenas.
Israel’s Long History of Suppressing Palestinian Rights
Decades of Israeli impunity has led to this moment. The U.S. sends at least $3.8 billion in military funding to Israel every year, yet Congress has failed to call out Israel’s human rights violations. The Israeli regime has sidelined, shut down, and obstructed the work of Palestinian human rights organizations documenting Israel’s abuses. By attacking these organizations, Israel is attempting to avoid accountability for their attrocities against the Palestinian people.
Israel has a long history of suppressing the basic rights of Palestinian people. The Israeli state is both built on and maintained by the politic of exploitation and abuse of Palestinian communities. This instance of shutting down and repressing human rights organizations is yet another example of the politic of the Israeli state—a separate-and-unequal apartheid rule over Palestinian people.
The organizations under attack are some of the leading human rights organizations in Palestine, having successfully documented countless Israeli violations from torture in Israeli prisons, to illegal home demolitions, to extreme settler violence. This documentation has been used to try and hold Israel accountable in international organizations like the UN, and even in Israeli courts.
By shutting off or severely limiting access to information from these groups, Israel can continue to avoid any accountability for its actions.
At any time, Israel can arrest human rights staff or attack and ransack offices without warning. Organizations can be denied essential funding. Silencing human rights organizations will put millions of Palestinian people in danger—everyone should be concerned that Palestinian people might not be able to speak out against Israeli violence.
Be On The Side of Justice for Palestinian Human Rights
In light of Israel’s impunity, it is imperative that the international community shows up in solidarity. Over 304 U.S. based social justice, civil rights and human rights organizations and leaders, have already spoken out publicly. Additionally, the six Palestinian civil society and human rights organizations targeted by Israel have written a joint letter to the Biden administration demanding action.
Join individuals and organizations around the world in demanding accountability for Israel’s crimes. Use this action tool to tell your representatives to sign on to the #StandWithThe6 resolution, H.Res. 751, and tell the Biden administration to condemn Israel’s repression. Take action at bit.ly/CongressPalHR.
Statements and Other Resources:
- Congressional Letter Condemning Attacks, Led by Rep. Ayanna Pressley
- Defense for Children International Palestine Statement on Israeli Military Attacks
- Al-Haq Statement on Israeli Military Attacks
- Addameer Tweet on Israeli Military Attacks
- Bisan Center for Research and Development Tweet on Israeli Military Attacks
- Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees Tweet on Israeli Military Attacks
- Union of Agricultural Works Committees Tweet on Israeli Military Attacks
- Health Work Committees Statement on Israeli Military Attacks
- 10 European Governments Reject Israel’s Attacks on Palestinian NGOs
- Human Rights Watch & Amnesty International Joint Statement on Attacks on the Human Rights Movement
- Charity & Security Network Press Release