The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) expresses its deep shock and strong denouncement of the campaign launched against the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) after publishing a press release concerning the explosion that rocked al-Zawiyah Market in Gaza City. PHROC is deeply shocked by the statement issued by the National and Islamic Factions' Follow-up Committee in the Gaza Strip which included false and groundless malicious accusations against PCHR.
PHROC rejects what was said in the Follow-up Committee’s statement that PCHR’s press release “provides a justification for the Israeli offensive and encourages media biased towards the Israeli occupation and hostile to our cause to take advantage of this in order to incite against the Palestinian resistance groups and justify the offensive against our people…"These serious accusations have only paved the way for provocateurs to incite against the work of human rights organizations and intensify their attacks against PCHR by using treason language and linking the work of the human rights organizations with suspicious foreign agendas, threatening PCHR and endangering the lives of its staff.
What came in the Follow-up Committee's press release and the successive statements and comments on social media pose a direct threat to PCHR and its staff. We express full solidarity with PCHR and recall PCHR's noble mission in defending Palestinians’ rights professionally, objectively and independently, emphasizing its strategic work with the partner human rights organizations in terms of pursing the Israeli war criminals before the International Criminal Court (ICC) and international justice. It is worth noting that PCHR represented by its board of directors, director and staff has a humanitarian, national and professional record that we do not need to show or defend.
The work of human rights organizations involves monitoring all stakeholders/related parties, including the crimes committed by Israeli occupation forces against the Palestinian civilians and their properties as well as the violations committed by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the de facto authority in the Gaza Strip. Thus, the Palestinian resistance groups are not immune to criticism and should seize this opportunity to adjust its course and address the wrongs. Resistance is subject to binding legal regulations and limitations, and criticism should have been positively and constructively handled and not by using the language of treason and linking PCHR with the occupation and donors' agendas. We categorically denounce these accusations and stress the important role of PCHR and all human rights and civil society organizations in the national struggle to end the occupation and obtain our legitimate and inalienable rights. We emphasize the exhaustive and complementary professional and national role of the Palestinian human rights organizations and civil society in their legal struggle with the UN agencies, which adds a fourth dimension to the liberation struggle against the occupation.
PHROC calls upon all parties behind the smear campaign against PCHR to stop and reiterates that over the past years, PCHR and other human rights and civil society organizations have been exposed to a smear campaign launched by the Israeli occupation and cooperating right-wing organizations to defame Palestinian human rights organizations, undermine their credibility and dry up their funding sources, noting that the Israeli leaders always state that Palestinian human rights organizations pose a strategic threat to Israel. We should all be united to overcome the overwhelming challenges imposed by the colonial occupation against our national cause aiming at displacing our people, burying their identity and ending their existence.