Fire at the offices of Israeli human rights group in Jerusalem

Published January 11th, 2016 - 09:46 GMT
B'Tselem, a group which monitors human rights abuses in the Palestinian territories, has said that the fire will not stop it from carrying out its work. (Twitter)
B'Tselem, a group which monitors human rights abuses in the Palestinian territories, has said that the fire will not stop it from carrying out its work. (Twitter)

The Jerusalem offices of a top human rights groups in Israel has been severely damaged in a fire. The incident was first suspected as an arson attack, however reports now suggest that it may have been due to an electrical fault. The B’Tselem group documents human rights among Palestinians and monitors abuses in the Palestinian territories. A police spokesperson said that there had been no casualties in the fire on Sunday.

"If it is discovered that this was an arson attack, it must be seen in the context of the wave of government incitement and smear campaigns against Israel's human rights groups, and B'Tselem in particular," B’Tselem said in a statement.

"Naturally, the damage to our offices will not stop our work of documenting and exposing the harm to human rights under the occupation."

The Israeli government has proposed legislation which would place restrictions on groups such as B’Tselem, including rules which would limit donations to them from foreign governments and private donors.

Human rights organizations have been the victims of various forms of harassment in the past, including raids by Israeli authorities.

In December, a charity in Bethlehem and a prisoners’ rights group in Nablus were the target of raids by Israeli troops, with reports suggesting that their offices were ransacked.


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