Israeli authorities’ raid and shut down of the Palestinian Health Work Committees (HWC) headquarters on Wednesday, which provides health services in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, will have “catastrophic consequences,” Amnesty International said.
The rights group said that Israeli forces raided the headquarters in Ramallah early on Wednesday, breaking down the door and confiscating computers and memory drives, as they issued an order shutting the office for six months.
“Israel’s shut down of its headquarters will have major consequences for the provision of essential health services to thousands of Palestinians, a program for women’s health that was at the headquarters has now stopped,” said Saleh Higazi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa in a statement.
“Israeli authorities must immediately rescind the shutdown order and put an end to the harassment of health workers,” Higazi also said.
Amnesty said the HWC are at the forefront of the Covid-19 response in the OPT, providing medical care to the marginalized.
“Instead of criminalizing organizations providing vital health services, the Israeli authorities should be ending their institutionalised discrimination and systematic oppression of Palestinians,” the deputy director said.