Israeli forces raided Defense for Children International’s headquarters in the central occupied West Bank, confiscating computers and client files, early Thursday morning.
Israeli forces raided DCIP’s headquarters located in Al-Bireh’s Sateh Marhaba neighborhood, near Ramallah, around 5:15 a.m. on July 29.
I condemn the IDF’s attack on the office of Defense for Children International-Palestine. The assault on a human rights organization that protects Palestinian children is another instance of the repressive conditions under Israel's military occupation. https://t.co/MsmiRiEjjX
— Rep. Betty McCollum (@BettyMcCollum04) July 29, 2021
More than a dozen Israeli soldiers forced open the office’s locked front door and confiscated six desktop computers, two laptops, hard drives, and client files related to Palestinian child detainees represented by DCIP’s lawyers in Israel’s military courts.
No documents were left in the office to give any indication of the reason for the raid, and they did not leave behind any receipt of materials seized.
“This latest act by Israeli authorities pushes forward an ongoing campaign to silence and eliminate Palestinian civil society and human rights organizations like DCIP,” said Khaled Quzmar, general director at DCIP. “Israeli authorities must immediately end efforts aimed at delegitimizing and criminalizing Palestinian human rights defenders and civil society organizations, and the international community must hold Israeli authorities accountable.”
🇵🇸#Palestine || Israeli forces raided [ @DCIPalestine ] Defense for Children International – Palestine’s headquarters in Al-Bireh’s Sateh Marhaba neighborhood, located just south of Ramallah, confiscating computers and client files, early Thursday morning. pic.twitter.com/eUOAFyCRg8
— Eye on Palestine (@EyeonPalestine) July 29, 2021
Video surveillance footage from inside the DCIP office shows Israeli forces entering the premises at 5:15 a.m. The Israeli soldiers move through the DCIP office gathering computers, laptops, and files, and then cut the closed-circuit television camera feed at 5:27 a.m.
Israeli, Palestinian, and international human rights and humanitarian organizations face an increasingly difficult operating environment and shrinking civic space in Israel and the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.
Recent attempts to delegitimize humanitarian and human rights organizations operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in particular, have been on the rise in recent years, negatively impacting their ability to deliver assistance and advocate on behalf of Palestinian human rights.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)