Date: 14 August 2016
The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) is gravely concerned with the continuing campaign of attacks and threats against human rights defenders and employees of PHROC member organizations, including Al-Haq, Al-Mezan, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), and The Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights (BADIL), by the Israeli authorities and associated organizations. In addition to cyber attacks, the campaign against the organizations also included contacting funders and local and international partners of these organizations in an attempt to discredit them. Intimidation and death threats over e-mail and phone calls were also carried out by anonymous sources against staff members of the aforementioned organizations.
These threats are part of a systematic and planned campaign that began in mid-2015, with the intent to disrupt the work of organizations, defame them, and impact their funding. The attacks come as a result of the organizations' work to ensure accountability for Israel's grave violations of international law. Notably, attacks escalated following the organizations’ submission to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for its preliminary examination of the situation in Palestine.
PHROC calls on relevant local and international authorities to conduct immediate investigations into the serious threats against human rights organizations and their staff members in OPT and abroad. PHROC will follow up on this matter by reaching out to representative offices, UN bodies, and local and international partners in order to combat such threats and ensure the safety of its staff. PHROC affirms that it will continue its work at the ICC in order to ensure accountability for crimes committed in the OPT.
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