Undeterred by foreign criticism, Israel warns heads of two human rights groups of imprisonment and prosecution days after raiding their offices.

By Oren Ziv, +972 Magazine

On Sunday, the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, made threatening calls and summoned for interrogation the heads of two Palestinian NGOs whose offices were raided by the Israeli army in the occupied West Bank last week.

Overhead shot of Gaza City at sunset

Khaled Quzmar, the director of Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P), was warned by Shin Bet agents during his interrogation that any work he does within the organization from now on will be considered unlawful and may result in legal actions against him. Shawan Jabarin, director of Al-Haq, was warned over the phone that he was “a member of a terror organization,” and that he would “pay the price” if he continued his activities in the organization; Jabarin has not yet appeared for interrogation.

Last October, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz declared that these two organizations along with four others — Addameer, Bisan Center, the Union of Agricultural Works Committees (UAWC), and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC) — are “terrorist organizations.” Israel accuses them of serving as “arms” of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a Marxist-Leninist political party with a military wing, but has failed to provide any serious proof to the public and to foreign governments justifying its claims.

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