The UN said it is in contact with Israeli authorities over the closure of seven Palestinian civil NGOs in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.
“United Nations agencies working in the occupied Palestinian Territory said that they and their partners take seriously allegations of funding terrorism and the Israeli designation of seven Palestinian organizations as ‘terror organizations’ and\or ‘unlawful’,” Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said in statements.
He said the Israeli move further limits “the ability of human rights, humanitarian and development work in the occupied Palestinian Territory.”
Haq said Israeli authorities didn’t give any “compelling evidence” to the UN that support their designation against the Palestinian NGOs.
He called on Israel to refrain from any action that “would prevent these organizations from continuing their critical human rights, humanitarian and development work in the occupied Palestinian Territory.”
On Thursday, the Israeli army stormed the headquarters of seven Palestinian NGOs in Ramallah and declared them closed. The move came after the military designated these organizations as “terror groups”. The NGOs accuse Israel of seeking to silence criticism and human rights violations against Palestinians.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Washington was “concerned” about the closures and had “conveyed the message that there must be a very high bar to take action against civil society organizations.”
The NGOs that were raided were the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq Center, Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, the Union of Health Work Committees, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and Defense for Children International – Palestine.