On 19 October 2021, the Israeli Defense Minister issued an unprecedented decision designating six leading Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations as “terror organizations” under the draconian 2016 Anti-Terror Law. The organizations are Defense for Children International – Palestine; Al-Haq; Addameer - Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association; the Union of Agriculture Work Committees; the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees; and the Bisan Center for Research and Development. Two weeks later, on 3 November 2021, the Israeli Military Commander signed a military order declaring the groups as “illegal organizations” based on the 1945 Defense (Emergency) Regulations.
These groups are among the most prominent Palestinian HROs. They have a strong record of credibility and professionalism, and they are the most vocal in resisting the Israeli occupation and its apartheid policies. The designations are a transparent attempt to smear, persecute, delegitimize and de-fund them. The designations are a transparent attempt to smear, persecute, delegitimize and de-fund them. They are not only an attack on human rights defenders in Palestine, but they are also an attack on Palestinian existence. Such steps also have severe implications for the global human rights movement.
Since these draconian measures were taken, Adalah has been working closely with the six groups, providing legal consultation and assistance and advocating for the cancellation of the orders.
Immediately following the news of the designations, Adalah issued a statement of solidarity, and co-wrote and joined statements by Palestinian NGOs in Israel and by other human rights groups in Israel.