The army carried out searches overnight of offices in Ramallah used by the
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist organization, an IDF
spokeswoman said on Tuesday.
Palestinian sources said the searches took
place at the offices of the Women’s Union, the Palestinian NGO Network and
Addameer, an advocate for Palestinians in Israeli prisons, and that soldiers
confiscated five computers from the latter group.
This comes “in the
context of the UN’s decision [to recognize Palestine as a non-member state],”
Allam Jarrar of the Palestinian NGO Network told reporters on Tuesday morning,
as “Boycott Israel” leaflets lay strewn on the floor of the raided
“This a message by the Israelis to the Palestinians, saying that
when they take decisions or form patriotic organizations to seek their freedom,
the occupation will use aggression to try and stop us,” he said.
of Israeli NGOs came to the defense of the Palestinians groups and condemned the
IDF actions in Ramallah.
B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for
Human Rights in the Occupied Territories said the IDF did not provide the groups
with an explanation for the searches or show a warrant.
It added that
staff members were not present and that the soldiers damaged the
“Actions such as those taken by the Israeli military threaten
this free civic space and damage the protection Palestinian human rights,”
It noted that the raid had occurred hours after the end of
international Human Rights Day on Monday.
The statement was signed by
Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel; The Association
for Civil Rights in Israel; Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement;
Hamoked – Center for the Defense of the Individual; Physicians for Human Rights
– Israel; The Public Committee against Torture in Israel; Rabbis for Human
Rights and Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights.
organizations protest yesterday’s aggressive treatment of three Palestinian
civil society organizations by the Israeli military and demand that all property
seized be restored and that the work of civil society organizations — and
especially those comprised of human rights defenders – be protected and
respected,” the statement said.
Reuters contributed to this report.