[QODLink]
Middle East

Israeli army raids West Bank NGO offices

Soldiers raid offices of three civil society organisations in Ramallah, confiscating and damaging equipment.
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2012 12:38
Addameer employees found computer hard drives confiscated after a pre-dawn raid by Israeli soldiers [AFP]

Israeli soldiers have raided the offices of three civil society organisations in the heart of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

Entering before dawn on Tuesday, troops wrenched open the doors of the Women's Union, the Palestinian NGO Network and Addameer, an advocate for Palestinians in Israeli jails.

The raids were the first of their kind in a Palestinian city since the West Bank government won an initiative at the United Nations General Assembly on November 29 which recognised a de facto Palestinian state.

"This comes in the context of the UN's decision," Allam Jarrar of the Palestinian NGO Network told reporters on Tuesday morning, "boycott Israel" leaflets strewn on the floor of the raided office.

"This a message by the Israelis to the Palestinians, saying that when they take decisions or form patriotic organisations to seek their freedom, the occupation will use aggression to try and stop us," he said.

Equipment destroyed

On its website, Addameer said that the raid, in which computers were confiscated and office furniture and equipment were destroyed, is the first raid of the organisation’s offices since Ramallah was invaded in 2002.

“At this moment, we are not clear as to what has been confiscated, but in the coming days we will know more about the level of destruction and damage,” the statement read.

The Israeli military did not immediately comment.

The West Bank has seen mounting clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian protesters, leaving two Palestinians dead since the launch on November 14 of an eight-day Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Nighttime arrests of Palestinians suspected by Israel of 'illegal' activity have awoken small towns throughout the West Bank in the last week, provoking exchanges of gunfire by troops and stones heaved at them by increasingly defiant locals.

296

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
More than 400 gaming dens operate on native lands, but critics say social ills and inequality stack the deck.
The Palestinian president is expected to address the UN with a new proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Nearly 1,200 aboriginal females have been killed or disappeared over 30 years with little justice served, critics say.
Ethnic violence has wracked China's restive Xinjiang region, leading to a tight government clampdown.
Malay artists revitalise the art of puppeteering by fusing tradition with modern characters such as Darth Vader.