Joint Statement of Palestinian NGOs in Israel

Israel’s designation of Palestinian human right defenders and civil society groups as terrorist organizations must be immediately rescinded and condemned.

Dear Friend,

We, the undersigned representatives of Palestinian Arab human rights and civil society
organizations in Israel strongly reject the designation of six leading Palestinian human
rights and civil society organizations as “terror organizations” made by the Israeli Ministry of Defense on 19 October 2021.

The list includes the following prominent organizations:

  • Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P)
  • Al-Haq - Human Rights Organization
  • ADDAMEER - Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
  • Union of Agriculture Work Committees (UAWC)
  • Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC)
  • Bisan Center for Research and Development

These groups are among the most prominent Palestinian human rights organizations.
They have gained a high reputation for credibility and professionalism in the international community by challenging human rights violations before international forums, including UN human rights bodies and international courts.

The designation, which was made under Israel’s domestic Anti-Terrorism Law (2016),
constitutes an unprecedented attack on human rights defenders, who are resisting the
Israeli occupation and its oppression, system of apartheid, impunity for serious crimes
under international law, and the abusive use of counter-terrorism laws against

“Israel’s designation of six Palestinian human rights NGOs as ‘terrorist organizations’ is a cynical assault on independent civil society and on the exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and association in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT),” the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said.

We believe that Israel’s widespread and systematic smear campaigns against Palestinian human rights NGOs and human rights defenders aim to delegitimize, oppress, and silence them, and to cut off their work and resources.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said, “This decision is an alarming
escalation that threatens to shut down the work of Palestine’s most prominent civil society organizations. The decades-long failure of the international community to challenge grave Israeli human rights abuses and impose meaningful consequences for them has emboldened Israeli authorities to act in this brazen manner.”

We, the undersigned civil society organizations, urge the international community,
including the UN Human Rights Council, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and all states, to show clear and strong support for human rights values by:

- Immediately demanding that the Israeli government rescind this decision;
- Emphasizing that this decision has no legal validity;
- Publicly defending the targeted organizations;
- Continuing to support and fund these organizations.

How the international community responds will be a true test of its resolve to protect
human rights defenders. We therefore urge you to act immediately with concrete and
effective measures to ensure the immediate revocation of Israel’s decision, which
criminalizes Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations.

We urge you to act immediately.

We believe that your actions will help us in confronting these obstacles placed before
Palestinian civil society and help to end actions that constitute a gross violation of human rights and universally accepted basic freedoms, including defending civil society and human rights.

Many thanks for your efforts, and we hope to hear about your action on this important
human rights issue.

For further information or to reply: Rafah Anabtawi, Director, Kayan Feminist
Organization -, +972 50 451 5136

Sincerely yours,

- Kayan Feminist Organization
- Al-Tufula Center - The Nazareth Nurseries Institute
- Injaz - Center for Professional Arab Local Governance in Israel
- Baladna – The Association for Arab Youth
- The Alumni Association of Russian and Soviet Union Universities
- NA’AM AWC - Arab Women in the Center
- Mada al-Carmel: Arab Center for Applied Social Research
- The Arab Culture Association (ACA)
- The Arab Center for Alternative Planning (ACAP)
- Tishreen Association
- Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel
- Women Against Violence
- 7amleh - The Arab Center for Social Media Advancement
- Intimaa W Ataa
- I'lam - Arab Center for Media Freedom Development and Research
- The Galilee Society - The Arab National Society for Health Research and Services
- Sidreh
- Movement of Democratic Women in Israel
- Ma’an - The Forum of Arab Women’s Organization in the Negev