The People’s Health Movement abides by its charter, which demands the end of the Israeli occupation as it is perceived as one of the must destructive tools against human dignity. Today, the PHM directs its call for solidarity to Palestinian civil society and human rights organizations as they are being attacked profusely and unprecedentedly by the Israeli occupation. On October 22, 2021, the Israeli Minister of “Defense” declared six prominent human rights organizations as “terrorist organizations”, endangering their work and exposing them to arbitrary attacks by the occupation. The six institutions are: 1- Bisan Center for Research and Development 2- Addameer Organization for Prisoner rights 3- Al-Haq Organization 4- Defense for Children International/Palestine 5- Union of Agriculture Work Committees 6- Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees.
This classification targets six of the most prominent organizations within the Palestinian civil society. These organizations work to defend human rights, document Israeli violations, provide health and social services, and advocate for the rights of Palestinians to ensure international protection against Israeli settler-colonization and apartheid. Categorizing these organizations is an increasing act of terror against human rights defenders in Palestine and CSOs defying the settler-colonial state, working toward justice, and holding Israel accountable for its violations, war crimes, and humanitarian crimes.
The People’s Health Movement considers the occupation state’s use of its vague political legislation in “fighting terrorism” to criminalize institutions just another tool in its systemic campaign against Palestinian civil society, including its recent military order to close the Union of Health Work Committees’ headquarters, an organization working to defend the health rights of Palestinians.
PHM extends its warmest regards and appreciate to human rights organizations and human rights defenders active within civil society organization in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and calls for immediate action from international human rights defenders and powers to unify efforts to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and the Palestinian civil society.
This latest development is one in a series of attempts by successive Israeli governments to dismantle the Palestinian political and civilian leadership and curtail human rights activities in the occupied Palestinian territory and beyond. These tactics have included legislation, raids, arrest of prominent human rights activists — including PHM’s regional coordinator Dr. Shatha Odeh who has been imprisoned since July 7 — and marking leading human rights organizations as illegitimate.
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