Evidence of a growing zionist's campaign against human rights defenders
The arrest last week of Ameer Makhoul, the General Director of Ittijah is only one example amidst a recent escalated campaign by (Israeli) authorities against Palestinian human rights defenders and civil resistance. In addition to arbitrary arrest and detention, (Israeli) authorities have applied travel bans against a number of Palestinian human rights defenders in recent months.
§ Dr. Omar Said, another Palestinian citizen of (Israel) and a high-profile academic and social and political activist from Kufr Kina village in northern 1948 territory, was arrested while on his way to Jordan on 24 April 2010. Following his arrest, Dr. Said was transferred to Petah Tikva interrogation center, where he remains at present. According to reports, Israeli police accompanied by ISA agents also searched Dr. Said’s home.
§ Mahmoud Mihareb, also a Palestinian citizen of (Israel) and a university lecturer who was accompanying Dr. Omar Said when the latter was arrested on 24 April 2010, was given a travel ban of unknown duration beginning from that date.
§ Palestinian cartographer and human rights defender Khalil Tafakji was issued with a six-month travel ban on 4 February 2010. Mr. Tafaki, a resident of East Jerusalem, has accompanied numerous Palestinian delegations to peace talks between 1992 and 2001, and has traveled extensively to lecture on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT).
§ Al-Haq Director Shawan Jabarin was issued with a travel ban on 23 March 2006, following his appointment as head of Al-Haq. Mr. Jabarin’s ban remains in place at present despite three separate appeals to the (Israeli) High Court.
(Israeli) authorities have also started to target Palestinian, (Israeli) and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as part of their wider campaign against Palestinian human rights defenders. Measures used include raids of organizations’ offices, deportation of organization staff and volunteers, a new policy of visa denials for international NGO workers, and pending legislation in the Knesset that would enable the (Israeli) government to close down any organization that gives information to foreign actors or participates in legal efforts outside (Israel) to try (Israeli) officials for war crimes.
§ On 12 January 2010, (Israeli) authorities deported International Solidarity Movement (ISM) media coordinator and Czech national Eva Novakova after a reported 20 (Israeli) soldiers accompanied by immigration officers from the “Oz” unit raided her apartment in Ramallah and arrested her the previous day.
§ On 20 January 2010, Jared Malsin, chief English-language editor of Ma’an News Agency, who had been held in detention at a cell in Ben-Gurion airport for eight days pending a legal challenge against his expulsion, was also deported.
§ In the early morning hours of 7 February 2010, Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) raided the Ramallah apartment of ISM activists Ariadna Jove Marti, a Spanish journalist, and Bridgette Chappell, an Australian student at Birzeit University. Both were taken to Ofer Military Base near Ramallah before being handed over to the “Oz” unit police. The (Israeli) High Court ordered both to be released on bail on 8 February 2010, after levying them with $800 bond fees each and banning them from entering the West Bank.
§ The same week, IOF soldiers raided ISM’s Ramallah offices twice, on Sunday 7 February, and Wednesday 10 February at 3 a.m., confiscating computers, t-shirts and bracelets bearing “Palestine” engravings.
§ Late into the night of 7 February 2010, the IOF also raided the Ramallah offices of Palestinian NGO Stop the Wall, confiscating computer hard disks, laptops, and video cameras along with paper documents, CDs, and video cassettes.
§ On 4 April 2010, the office of Michigan Peace Team in the village of Huwwara near Nablus was raided by the IOF.
§ On 13 April 2010, (Israeli) Military Order 1650 came into effect, broadening the definition of who could be considered an “infiltrator” under the military orders governing the OPT. The wording of the order, which for the first time established a requirement for everyone present in the OPT to have an (Israeli)-issued permit to be there, places a new threat on all individuals present in the West Bank including international NGO workers who likely remain at particular risk for arrest and deportation.
§ On 28 April 2010, a group of 19 Knesset members introduced a draft bill entitled “Associations (Amutot) Law (Amendment – Exceptions to the Registration and Activity of an Association), 2010”. The aim of this bill is to close down any existing NGO registered in (Israel), and to prohibit the registration of a new NGO, if “there are reasonable grounds to conclude that the association is providing information to foreign entities or is involved in legal proceedings abroad against senior (Israeli) government officials or IDF officers, for war crimes.” If passed, this bill has enormous potential to obstruct the activities of all human rights NGOs based in (Israel) and further inhibit the ability and responsibility of the international community to hold (Israel) to account for its war crimes and crimes against humanity.
From Addameer www.addameer.info