Press Release: APN to Biden: Tell Israel to Stop Persecution of Palestinian Civil Society

Americans for Peace Now (APN) urges the Biden administration to demand that the government of Israel immediately cease its suppression campaign against Palestinian civil society organizations.

Earlier today, Israeli military units raided the offices of prominent Palestinian rights organizations in the West Bank, confiscated documents and other property, soldered shut their doors to prevent access to the offices, and left notices informing the organizations that they have been outlawed.

Last fall, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz declared that six prominent Palestinian rights groups were "terrorist organizations." These civil society groups, Al Haq; Addameer; Defense for Children International-Palestine; Bisan; the Union of Agricultural Work Committees; and the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees, work directly with Palestinian women and girls, children, low-income families, prisoners, and civil society activists, providing direct services and monitoring human rights abuses by both Israeli and Palestinian authorities.

APN strongly condemns Israel's persecution and oppression of Palestinian civil society organizations. International government officials, including members of Congress, who were briefed by the Israeli government regarding the grounds for these measures have publicly said that they found the rationale for outlawing the six organizations insufficient and unconvincing.

APN's President and CEO Hadar Susskind said: "Israel has failed to provide any public evidence to substantiate its allegations. Further, the 'secret' documents Israel distributed to European diplomats, members of Congress, and administration officials by the Israeli government fail to provide sufficient evidence of the alleged connections between these Palestinian civil society groups and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). We join with governments and civil society organizations globally in calling on the Israeli government to cease its attack on Palestinian human rights groups. Instead, the government of Israel chose to escalate its attack on these groups. We condemn it. We will continue to urge our government to demand that Israel stop this campaign against Palestinian civil society organizations."