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News : Media release

APF condemns decision labelling Palestinian NGOs as “terrorist organisations”

Graphic: A view of Jabalia refugee camp, north of Gaza City

Asia Pacific Forum LogoAsia Pacific Forum

The Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF) strongly condemns the decision by Israel’s Ministry of Defence to designate six Palestinian non-government organisations as “terrorist organisations”.

As a coalition of 25 National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) across the Asia Pacific region, we call on Israel to revoke this decision in line with international human rights and humanitarian law. 

The organisations targeted under the designation include reputable human rights defenders and civil society groups that have been working for many years to defend the rights of marginalised groups in Palestine, including the rights of women and girls, the rights of children, and the rights of prisoners. 

The decision, which links the organisations to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) is unsubstantiated, arbitrary, and unjustified, and has severe ramifications for the NGOs targeted under Israeli law, as well as broader implications for Palestinian civil society. 

Counter-terrorism measures should not be used to silence political dissent, or to deny the rights of individuals or organisations working legitimately to protect and promote human rights. 

We call on the international community to apply pressure to the Israeli government to reverse this decision, with respect to international human rights norms and standards. 

Kieren Fitzpatrick, APF Director

Date: 8 November 2021

Media contact: Amy Janowski, APF Communications and Networking Officer (amyjanowski@asiapacificforum.net)


Image credits

  1. A view of Jabalia refugee camp, north of Gaza City - IRIN News, Flickr Creative Commons