Palestine human rights group raided

8 May 2012 - 3:55pm
Press release

War on Want condemns ‘unacceptable' attack

The British anti-poverty charity War on Want today condemned the Israeli military for a raid by occupation forces on the Ramallah offices of the human rights defenders Stop the Wall.

The raid on the Ramallah grassroots organisation, which campaigns against Israel's illegal apartheid wall, came only hours after the High Court rejected appeals by Palestinian hunger strikers over their administrative detention.

At 1.30 am this morning Israeli military troops in 10 armoured jeeps surrounded the offices, then entered and removed two laptop computers, three hard drives, cards with files and photographs, as well as archive material.

War on Want supports the work of Stop the Wall, a group which empowers Palestinian communities to peacefully oppose the wall.

War on Want executive director John Hilary said: "This is an unacceptable attack by the Israeli military on civil society resistance in Palestine. War on Want is proud to stand in solidarity with Stop the Wall and to support its crucial work with Palestinian communities fighting for their survival in the face of Israeli aggression. We call on the UK government and the rest of the international community to take immediate action to bring Israel back in line with international law."

Stop the Wall coordinator Jamal Juma claimed Israel had chosen to act amid the court's dismissal of appeals by hunger strikers Bilal Diab and Tha''ir Halahleh, imprisoned without charge or trial, effectively condemning them to death.

Juma said: "This is a renewed attack upon Palestinian civil society and their struggle against physical and psychological oppression, land confiscation and ethnic cleansing. Israel is fearing popular resistance and at the same time prepares for confrontation and more repression, clearly showing that it is not ready to relinquish any of the international sanctioned rights the Palestinian people are struggling for."

According to Stop the Wall, the courageous steadfastness of more than 2000 hunger strikers in Israeli jails is underlining the power of civil resistance as part of the Palestinian struggle. Almost daily, people go out into the streets to protest in solidarity with the prisoners, and discontent with the stalled diplomatic process is growing stronger.

Stop the Wall points to Israeli authorities' announcement to UN agencies last year that throughout 2012 they would systematically displace Palestinians. While displacement is under way in the Jordan Valley, home demolitions are rising and settlement construction has accelerated.

The Israeli military raided Stop the Wall's office in 2010 amid mass arrests of campaigners in the villages most actively protesting against the apartheid wall.

The group suffered earlier Israeli repression in 2009 when its youth coordinator, Mohammad Othman, was arrested and Juma suffered the same fate three months later.

The Israeli authorities failed to formulate any accusations against them and both were later freed after diplomatic involvement and sustained international pressure.

CONTACT: Paul Collins, War on Want media officer (+44) (0)20 7324 5054 or (+44) (0)7983 550728


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