Israeli forces raid and seal shut DCIP and 5 other civil society organisations offices, leaving an official notice declaring the organisations unlawful
Ramallah, August 18, 2022—Israeli forces raided Defence for Children International – Palestine’s headquarters in the central occupied West Bank early Thursday morning.
Computers, a photocopier, printer, and client files related to Palestinian child detainees who were represented by DCIP’s attorneys in Israel’s military tribunals were taken by more than a dozen Israeli soldiers after they forced open the office’s front door, as per CCTV evidence. After 45 minutes, they left, welding shut the entrance door and leaving an official notice ordering the office to close and designating DCIP as an unlawful organisation. The precise objects that were seized are unknown.
This raid occurred despite a joint statement released by Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden in July, on the Israeli designations stating that “no substantial information was received from Israel that would justify reviewing our policy towards the six Palestinian NGOs on the basis of the Israeli decision to designate these NGOs as ‘terrorist organizations.” The nine countries declared, “in the absence of such evidence, we will continue our cooperation and strong support for the civil society in the oPT.”
DCIP’s General Director, Khaled Quzmar, stated: “Our human rights documentation and evidence-based advocacy exposing Israeli forces’ grave violations against Palestinian children has made us a target of the Israeli government for years,” “Sealing and closing our office will not silence us. We reject the Israeli designation and any repressive tactics aimed at eliminating our work and urge the international community to robustly denounce this serious escalation against Palestinian human rights defenders.”
Israeli forces also raided the offices of the five other Palestinian civil society organizations criminalised by the Israeli government—Al Haq, Addameer, Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees.
This raid is the most recent move in a years-long campaign of repression against DCIP and their work exposing Israeli violations of Palestinian children’s rights.
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