Israel raids Palestinian NGO offices

An Israeli soldier fires tear gas towards Palestinian protesters during a demonstration against the theft of Palestinian land by Israel in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh on 7 December 2012. (Photo: AFP - Abbas Momani)

Published Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Israeli soldiers ransacked a number of NGO offices Tuesday morning in Ramallah, confiscating computers and destroying equipment, Ma’an news agency reported.

Soldiers also fired tear gas at Palestinian youths who confronted them during a raid on the office of the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees, it added.

Offices for the human rights group Addameer, the Agricultural Work Committees and the Palestinian NGO Network were also attacked.

The purpose for the raids was unclear, but Israeli forces frequently launch arbitrary attacks on activist targets to disrupt or discourage their work.

Non-governmental organizations have been instrumental in exposing Israel’s heinous crimes committed throughout its decades-long occupation of the West Bank.

In February Israel raided two West Bank television stations where they confiscated computers and transmitters.

The Tuesday morning attacks occurred one day after Israeli soldiers launched a number of raids on West Bank homes, arresting 13 Palestinians.

Israel’s army also forced six families from their homes in the village of Humsa on Monday to clear room for “military exercises,” according to the WAFA news agency.

Another Palestinian family who had lived in their East Jerusalem home for the past five decades received an eviction notice yesterday from Israeli authorities claiming the house was built on Jewish land and would be handed over to settlers, the agency added.

Israel has drawn international condemnation in recent days after announcing intentions to expand its illegal West Bank settlements by 3,000 homes.

Israel however has remained committed to the demolition of Palestinian homes and property to clear room for illegal settlements throughout its occupation, and the recent evictions appear to be unrelated to Israel's so-called E1 settlement expansion plan.

(Al-Akhbar)

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