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Israel forces’ raid on Palestinian NGO Addameer slammed by rights groups

Israeli forces prepare for a raid in the West Bank on 27 January 2019 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli forces prepare for a raid in the West Bank on 27 January 2019 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli occupation forces yesterday raided the offices of Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association, a West Bank-based Palestinian human rights group.

According to the prisoners’ rights NGO, Israeli soldiers “stole five laptops, memory cards, three laptop memories, one laptop card, [and] several books” during their ransacking of the office.

This is the third such raid of Addameer’s Ramallah office, following attacks in 2002 and 2012.

In a statement, Addameer described the raid as part of attacks that target “the organisations that have a role in facing the occupation’s violations and claiming accountability for those violations”.

Other human rights groups issued strong condemnations of the raid by Israeli occupation forces.

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Amnesty International described the raid as “part of a wider crackdown on Palestinian human rights and civil society organisations and their staff”.

“The chilling raid by Israeli forces against Addameer demonstrates the Israeli authorities’ clear determination to crush peaceful activism and silence NGOs,” said Saleh Higazi, deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

“This was a sinister and calculated attack designed to curtail Addameer’s vital human rights work.”

Amnesty noted that Ayman Nasser, Addameer’s legal unit co-ordinator, “has been detained without charge or trial since 17 September 2018”, with his administrative detention renewed by the Israeli military for a further four months just last week.

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Haifa-based legal rights centre Adalah, meanwhile, said that it “considers this raid a new step in Israel’s policy of restricting Palestinian human rights institutions”.

“This Israeli military incursion is a direct attack on human rights work in Palestine, and lays bare Israel’s continuing crackdown on civil society institutions and their sources of funding, and reveals ongoing its efforts to defame and incite against human rights defenders,” Adalah stated.

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