A decision taken recently by the Israeli Ministry of Defense has prompted worldwide criticism after the government announced the designation of six Palestinian civil society organizations as "terrorist" ones.
The decision, announced by the Defense Minister of Israel Benny Gantz, named Addameer, Al-Haq, Defense for Children Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Bisan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees as "terrorist organizations."
📣Join us on Thursday for a global day of action against the criminalization of 6 Palestinian organizations working for human rights📣— Addameer –الضمير (@Addameer) October 27, 2021
Toolkit: https://t.co/rsnZzQECs2#StandWithThe6 pic.twitter.com/k2931X4HlP
The Israeli government has justified its decision by accusing these six organizations of being "active under the cover of civic society organizations, but in practice belonging and constituting an arm of the [PFLP] leadership; the main activity of whom being the liberation of Palestine and destruction of Israel."
However, notable global reactions have been largely critical of the decision, perceiving it as "an attempt to further silence Palestinians and provide a cover-up for Israeli human rights violations in the Palestinian territories."
Moreover, many opposing voices online have expressed serious concerns that the Israeli move is meant to obstruct the work of these organizations as it poses a challenge to international donors who provide the main form of support for these organizations' work.
In a joint official statement, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have condemned the decision calling it "appalling and unjust", highlighting decades-old "Israeli systematic attempts to muzzle human rights monitoring and punish those who criticize its repressive rule over Palestinians."
We made a quick summary of what #StandWithThe6 is all about.— Rabet #SaveSheikhJarrah (@rabetbypipd) October 27, 2021
Amplify & #StandWithThe6 by educating your community and urging your government officials and representatives to publicly condemn this declaration and to support Palestinian human rights activists and organizations. pic.twitter.com/RdaKEoUEAq
Leading Israeli human rights organization B'tselem has also expressed sharp criticism of the Israeli government's decision calling it "an attempt to criminalize human rights work."
Consequently, an online campaign has been launched on the evening of Thursday, the 28th of October 2021, during which social media activists have called on online people to use the hashtag #standwiththe6 to express solidarity with the six Palestinian human rights organizations and demand a reversal of the Israeli decision.
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