Israel’s Designation of Palestinian Human Rights Groups as Terrorists is Outrageous

The ITUC and Global Union Federations condemn the designation by Israel of six Palestinian human rights groups as terrorist organisations.

Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights experts have joined the chorus of criticism against the move. The six Palestinian organizations are Addameer, Al-Haq, Defense for Children International – Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees.

Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary, said: "Once again, we see the Israeli authorities demonstrating their complete disregard for the voices of the international community when it suits them. As the UN human rights experts outline, this designation is a complete misuse of counterterrorism and security legislation that would 'effectively ban the work of these human rights defenders, and allow the Israeli military to arrest their staff, shutter their offices, confiscate their assets and prohibit their activities and vital work'. This move is scandalous and seems designed to undermine efforts for a two-state solution".

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said: “This step by Israel is outrageous. The human rights groups in Palestine are doing vital work in protecting the rights of Palestinians and in working for transparency and accountability of Israel’s occupation of Palestine. This includes crucially important work in corporate accountability of multinationals operating in the Occupied Territories. We call upon Israel to reverse the designations immediately. It is no coincidence that this announcement coincides with Israel’s decision to build more than 4,000 new houses in illegal Israeli settlements inside Palestine, a move that has been sharply criticised by even Israel’s closest allies. The Israeli government seems intent on wrecking any prospect of a two-state solution, with Palestine and Israel co-existing as sovereign states. The existence of the settlements is a flagrant violation of international law, and instead of being expanded they should be dismantled.”

Stephen Cotton, chair of the Council of Global Unions and General Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), added: “We are witnessing again actions by the Israeli government that will not help in any way to progress the peace process. The Global Union Federations and their members around the world call for the Israeli government to reverse the designation of the Palestinian human rights groups as terrorists, and cancel the decision to add 4,000 more homes to the illegal settlements.”