Israel troops launch 2am raid on Palestinian rights group office

Israel troops launch 2am raid on Palestinian rights group office
Israeli soldiers raided the office of Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association in the occupied territories on Thursday.
2 min read
19 September, 2019
The raid was part of a wider crackdown on Palestinian human rights [AFP]
An overnight raid by Israeli forces on the offices of a prominent Palestinian human rights organisation has been slammed by Amnesty International as the latest attack on civil society in occupied Palestinian territories. 

At around 2am on Thursday, Israeli forces ransacked the offices in Ramallah of the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association (Addameer), seizing computers, hard drives, files and equipment, the group reported.

The raid was part of a wider crackdown on Palestinian human rights and civil society organisations and their staff, Amnesty said.

"The chilling raid by Israeli forces against Addameer demonstrates the Israeli authorities' clear determination to crush peaceful activism and silence NGOs," said Saleh Higazi, deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International. 

"This was a sinister and calculated attack designed to curtail Addameer's vital human rights work," Higazi said in a statement.

"Israeli authorities have been sending a clear message to Palestinian civil society: anyone who dares to speak out about Israeli human rights violations in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories risks coming under attack."

Thursday's bust is the third time Israeli forces have raided Addameer's offices.

Previous raids took place in 2002 and 2012. 

Over the years Israeli authorities have also arrested and detained many Addameer staff members.

Ayman Nasser, the NGO's legal unit co-ordinator, has been detained without charge or trial since 17 September 2018.

Last week, his administrative detention was renewed for a further four months. 

"The organisation will continue to support Palestinian prisoners to flight all human rights violations they suffer from including torture, arbitrary detention and unfair trails," Addameer said in a statement. 

"[This raid is] part of ongoing and systematic attacks against the Palestinian civil society organization," the group said.

"Those attacks are targeting the organizations that have a role in facing the occupation's violations and claiming accountability for those violations.

"This is additionally a part of the occupation's campaign to shrink space, delegitimise and de-fund those human rights and civil society organisations."

Addameer's work focuses on political and civil rights issues in occupied Palestinian territory, especially those of prisoners.

As of July 2019, the NGO documented Israel to have imprisoned 5,150 political prisoners and 210 minors (children under the age of 16).

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