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Human Rights Defenders Statement June 2018

9th July 2018 | Human Rights Defenders | Hebron, occupied Palestine

We condemn the recent fierce attacks carried out by the Israeli occupation soldiers, who have notably begun to target all activists working with Human Rights Defenders (HRD) to document the crimes of the occupation. The Defenders’ association has documented many of the cold-blooded murders in the city of Hebron, most recently the killing of 35 year old road construction worker Rami Sabarneh who was shot by the IOF.

There have been many other instances, for example the physical assault of one of our members in Hebron. Human Rights Defenders co-founder and activist Badea Dwaik was prevented from getting to his destination and assaulted by not only the Israeli soldiers but also an extremist settler.

Badia Dwaik being arrested by Israeli soldiers (photo by HRD)

We also condemn the constant, routine attacks and harassment as well as death threats to both founders of HRD, Badea Dwaik and Imad Abu-Shamsiya, by ‘Hebron’s infamous extremist settler’, Oder Ohanna. Another activist, Fayez Abu-Shamsiya, was beaten by settlers, and activist Zidan Shirbati was also assaulted by occupation soldiers.

Activist Aref Jaber was assaulted in his own home where he and his wife were savagely beaten by the IOF and had to be rushed to the hospital. After they were attacked, the soldiers took their cameras, photos, computers, and many other personal belongings.

Aref Jaber in hospital after he was attacked by Israeli forces (photo by HRD)

Tamara Abu-Laban, co-coordinator of Human Rights Defenders in the states, has received a constant stream of death threats through facebook, as well as on her personal phone, by Israeli occupation soldiers who also frequent our page to harass us.

The high level of human rights violations and violence against activists of HRD clearly confirms that there is a policy being aimed at all members, inside and outside of Palestine, who belong to our organisation and document/publish the crimes of the IOF and settlers. We have succeeded in shedding light on the IOF’s lies about being a ‘moral army’.

Accordingly, as a result of the increased direct targeting of activists of the Human Rights Defenders group, we hold full responsibility to the Israeli government in the event that any activist is harmed by the occupation soldiers and settlers. We ask The Human Rights Representative of the United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other human rights organisations, alongside Human Rights Defenders, to continue lobbying Israel and campaigning to support activists of the Human Rights Caucus.

We also call for the continued support of the believers of human rights and justice, and would like to request the donation of additional video cameras to HRD due to the exposure and destruction (by the IOF and settlers) of many of our cameras and other tools. There is a large presence of families in Hebron who are need of cameras, which are peaceful weapons that effectively expose and draw attention to the crimes of the occupation.

Finally, we commit to the continuation of our humanitarian and national mission to publish the violations of international law by the occupation, despite the vicious attacks and continuing death threats on the majority of our members by the occupation soldiers and Zionist settlers.