The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates strongly condemn today Israel's continued intimidation and suppression of human rights defenders and civil society organizations throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.
In particular, the Ministry condemned the ongoing arrest and detention of Palestinian human rights defenders, university students, and activists.
“Israel's punitive and systematic policies of arrest, harassment, and suppression of the human rights defenders are a clear attempt by Israel, the illegal occupant, to silence legitimate peaceful dissent to its illegal occupation, to smear human rights defenders, and to shrink civil society space. The attacks should be seen within the context of Israel's international campaign against human rights advocates of Palestinian rights who are facing intensifying threats and are increasingly targeted for their work,” said a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry.
“The Ministry reminds that since its illegal occupation in 1967, Israel, the illegal occupant, has employed a myriad of discriminatory and punitive tactics against Palestinian civil society in an effort to stifle and silence them. Over the past five years, the so-called Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs has also intensified its cynical smear campaigns against Palestinian human rights defenders and civil society, including using vicious incitement, in violation of Israel's obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law.”
The Ministry added that it affirms that “human rights organizations play a major role in paving the road for justice, respect for human rights and the rule of law in the occupied territory of the State of Palestine and worldwide. It is a duty of all States to support human rights organizations in line with their international responsibilities. In this regard, the State of Palestine calls on the international community to reject and condemn the detention of all human rights defenders and activists as well as the Israeli-led campaign of incitement, false accusations, and intimidation against human rights organizations.”
The Ministry also encouraged the international community “to support, protect and empower these valuable organizations and its personal as part of their continued efforts to support peace and advance the universal values of human rights.”