Ask the Canadian government to intervene with the Israeli government.
August 22 Update: Please Act Urgently to Protect Palestinian Human Rights Defenders
Yesterday, Sunday 21 August 2022, Al-Haq, one of the six Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations under attack by the Israeli military, sent an urgent appeal to UN Special Procedures "urgently demanding that the international community immediately take targeted and effective action to protect the General Directors of Al-Haq, Mr. Shawan Jabarin, and DCI-Palestine, Mr. Khaled Quzmar, Palestinian civil society organizations and human rights defenders, who are now facing existential threats, including arbitrary arrests and imprisonment, show trials on secret evidence, risk to financial and banking assets of the organisations, and closure and prevention of critical human rights work in the occupied Palestinian territory."
To read the appeal, see the Al-Haq website.
Events of August 18
Early in the morning of August 18, 2022, around 5:55 a.m., Israeli forces broke into the offices of six Palestinian human rights organizations in the occupied West Bank, confiscating equipment and taking files containing records of the organizations’ human rights work. Defense for Children International-Palestine’s main office in Al-Bireh-Ramallah was among the offices broken into. CCTV footage shows that more than a dozen Israeli soldiers forced open the DCIP office’s locked front door and removed a computer, photocopier, printer, and client files related to Palestinian child detainees represented by DCIP’s lawyers in Israel’s military courts. They exited the office after 45 minutes, welding shut the entry door and leaving a notice taped to the door ordering the office closed, declaring DCIP an illegal organization. It is unclear exactly what items were confiscated.
“As the Israeli government becomes increasingly emboldened and acts to criminalize human rights and humanitarian work carried out by Palestinian human rights organizations like DCIP, we are encouraged by your steadfast support of DCIP’s mission, programs, and staff,” says DCIP Director General Khaled Quzmar. “All the support and solidarity we can muster is needed in this challenging time. DCIP expects Israeli authorities will continue to escalate repressive tactics aimed at silencing and eliminating our work.”
As time is of the essence, church members are asked to respond as quickly as possible by sending a letter opposing the designations to Foreign Affairs Minister the Hon. Mélanie Joly and to their own member of Parliament.
Please add your voice to civil society in Canada and internationally who have called on their elected representatives to demand that the Israeli government rescind its designation against the six Palestinian organizations. According to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, also a Mission & Service partner, the false accusations against these organizations have been rejected by the European Union, the United States, and other states.
- Call or write to Foreign Affairs Minister the Hon. Mélanie Joly and your MP, and ask them to seize this moment and intervene with the Israeli government immediately. Canada must:
- unequivocally condemn the Israeli government’s repeated efforts to silence and criminalize Palestinian human rights defenders and human rights organizations
- call on the Government of Israel to immediately rescind its designations against the six Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations
- work with like-minded countries in the international community to use all available means to hold Israeli authorities accountable for targeted attacks and repression of Palestinian civil society organizations
You can write your own letter or personalize the e-mail template below. Minister Joly’s email is Melanie.Joly@international.gc.ca . Please cc firstname.lastname@example.org and your own member of Parliament. You can find your MP’s contact information by entering your postal code on the Parliament of Canada website. Multiply your efforts by sharing with 10 friends and encourage them to write their own.
- Join the United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel to receive updates and opportunities to connect with others.
- Connect with United Church partners like Defense for Children International Palestine and Sabeel for the latest information on the ongoing struggle of Palestinians in the occupied territories.
- Also support ongoing efforts to prevent child detention and unjust treatment in Palestine through No Way to Treat a Child.
- Share your support on social media using the hashtag #StandWithThe6.
- Palestinian Human Rights Defenders: E-mail Template (27.71 KB) (Word)
- Letter to Minister Joly re DCIP (18 Aug 2022) (179.25 KB) (PDF)