CCTV footage shows Israeli forces raid Palestinian NGO
The footage shows Israeli forces forcing their way into the offices at Al-Bireh’s Sateh Marhaba neighbourhood at around 5:15am.
They confiscated several computers and files about clients – many of whom are Palestinian children detained in the Israeli military courts. The CCTV feed was cut at 5:27am.
Six desktop computers, two laptops, hard drives and client files related to Palestinian child detainees represented by DCIP’s lawyers in Israel courts were taken.
No documents were left in the office to indicate the reason for the raid, and neither was a receipt of materials seized, according to DCIP.
"This latest act by Israeli authorities pushes forward an ongoing campaign to silence and eliminate Palestinian civil society and human rights organisations like DCIP," said Khaled Quzmar, general director at DCIP.
BREAKING: Israeli forces raided our main office in Al-Bireh today around 5 a.m., confiscating computers, laptops, and files concerning our Palestinian child detainee clients in the Israeli military courts. We were not informed of the reason for the raid. pic.twitter.com/IE9i4ZDvfP— Defense for Children (@DCIPalestine) July 29, 2021
"Israeli authorities must immediately end efforts aimed at delegitimising and criminalising Palestinian human rights defenders and civil society organisations, and the international community must hold Israeli authorities accountable."
Palestinian civil society groups are increasingly becoming the targets of Israel authorities. On 7 July the General-Director of the Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC) was arrested, and Israeli forces raided the headquarter of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC).
This has hampered the work of Palestinian and international rights organisations operating in Israel and the West Bank, with efforts by the Israeli far right to delegitimise humanitarian rights organisations.
This in part is done through a network of nationalist Israeli civil society organisations, with the support of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"Rather than demand Israeli forces end serious breaches of international law or that Israeli authorities hold perpetrators accountable, rising conservative nationalist social forces in Israel, including government ministries and agencies, aim to silence and eliminate legitimate human rights work that exposes widespread human rights violations inherent in Israel’s military occupation of Palestinians," Quzmar said.