#StandWithTheSix: US activists organise social media storm for Palestinian NGOs forced to close
On Monday, activists led a "social media storm" to raise awareness of the seven Palestinian NGOs that were closed down by the Israeli government earlier this month.
"We're outraged at what has happened. This is one form of expressing our support," Monadel Herzallah, a member and co-founder of the National Coordinating Committee of the US Palestinian Community Network, which took part in the social media storm.
Using the hashtag #StandWithThe6, his group was joined by others around the world, which took to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram on Monday to express their solidarity with the shuttered Palestinian NGOs for two hours starting at 1 pm ET. They see their support of these NGOs as essential at this time, given the work they had been doing (and continue to do under much more limited capacities).
Last week, Israel forced the closure of seven Palestinian NGOs, six of which it had already designated as "terrorist organisations", and with the recent closures accused them of channelling aid to terrorist groups.
Like the earlier terrorist designations, this was again condemned by different countries and institutions, including the US, though it appears not sufficiently for Israel to reverse course.
"It's really unfortunate that the US government position is not strong enough," said Herzallah. On the other hand, he added, "We're pleased to see several elected officials condemning this act."
Despite these obstacles, he said they will continue with the pressure until the NGOs are reopened so they can resume serving those in need.
"We want to hold them accountable. We're contributing to a level of political awareness around this misguided aggression," he said. "We will not stop."