TASHARUK

GENDER, CULTURE AND RESISTANCES IN PALESTINE

النوع والثقافة والمقاومة في فلسطين

Israeli assault on Palestinian civil society: the case of the 6+1 criminalised organisations

The case of the 6+1 organisations criminalised by Israel — Addameer, Al-Haq, Bisan Center, DCI-P, UAWC, UPWC and HWC— is part of a more general policy and practice by Israeli authorities to attack and harass Palestinian civil society and critics who question the occupation and the systematic violations of Palestinians’ rights. This is a trend that is part of an international scenario of reduced space for action for critical civil society and that, in this particular case, has intensified in recent years. The case of the 6+1 criminalised organisations was preceded by a series of measures, regulations and actions not only against Palestinian organisations, but also against Israeli and international actors involved in investigating the situation of the Palestinian population, in reporting violations and abuses that affect them and in promoting and defending Palestinians’ rights. The legal action against the 6+1 criminalised NGOs, and particularly the designation of the six as terrorist organisations, is a qualitative leap in the action taken by Israeli authorities against Palestinian civil society actors. The international reaction to the criminalisation of the 6+1 organisations —especially the displays of solidarity, the recognition of their background and the work they do, and the denouncement of the lack of evidence justifying the action taken against them— raises questions about the long-term impact of the criminalisation and casts doubts on the success of Israels’ efforts to question and discredit the NGOs’ work. However, as the representatives of the affected organisations acknowledge, criminalisation has had an impact on their work and on their teams and uncertainty remains about how this and other possible new Israeli authorities’ actions and policies can affect their activities in key areas for Palestinian society. The experience of the 6+1 organisations is far from being a “closed case” and its development requires careful monitoring, considering the way it affects their activities and other critical Palestinian civil society organisations, the political and economic commitment of external actors and the movement to show solidarity with Palestinians and to defend their rights.

This publication is available in English.

Palestinian civil society / shrinking space / criminalisation / Palestinian NGOs / human rights / lawfare / defunding / persecution / raids / detention / coercion / defamation / defunding / human rights defenders