Statement by Palestinian Christian Organizations on classifying six Palestinian human rights organizations as ‘terrorist organizations’
25 October 2021
Jerusalem, Palestine – Palestinian Christian organizations condemn and denounce in the strongest possible terms the decision of the Israeli Minister of Defense Benny Gantz issued on 22/10/2021 against six Palestinian human rights organizations, namely: Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights; Al Haq; Defense for Children International/Palestine; Bisan Center for Research and Development; Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC); and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees. The decision designates the six organizations as ‘terrorist organizations’ as a prelude to closing them and banning their activities. The use by Israeli occupation of its domestic political legislations in “fighting terrorism” to incriminate these organizations, came after years of systematic campaigns against Palestinian civil society organizations with the aim of silencing them and their supporters in international organizations and coalitions that stand for peace and justice.
This designation targets all Palestinian civil society organizations, particularly those working to defend Palestinian human rights, document violations against Palestinians, offer legal aid, and carry out international advocacy work on their behalf, urging the international community to safeguard the human rights of Palestinians, particularly their right to self-determination, and ending the Israeli settler-colonialism and its Apartheid regime.
We, the undersigned Palestinian Christian organizations, while reiterating the illegitimacy of this arbitrary decision and its grave implications to civil society organizations and human rights defenders, call upon countries, the international community, partners and donors in general and international Christian institutions in particular, to reject and condemn this decision, prevent the Israeli occupation state from moving forward with these arbitrary and illegitimate practices in violation of international laws, to pressure Israel to revoke the decision; and to continue to support the right of Palestinians to justice, freedom, and dignity.
East Jerusalem YMCA
The Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI)
Arab Orthodox Union Club Jerusalem
Arab Educational Institute
The Palestinian Christian Initiative / Kairos Palestine
Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center
YWCA of Palestine
Bethlehem Bible College
Wi’am: The Palestinian Conflict Transformation Center