Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye attends a ceremony to kick off the vaccination campaign at the Palestine Medical Complex (PMC) in the West Bank city of Ramallah, March 21, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye said on Tuesday that Israel's closure of Palestinian human rights groups and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is "void and illegal."
Ishtaye made the remarks during his visit to a Palestinian NGO, which was closed by Israel in the West Bank city of Ramallah in August.
Accompanying him on the trip were diplomats from different countries, the EU, as well as members of international rights groups.
On August 18, the Israeli army closed seven Palestinian NGOs and confiscated their property. The military posted a notice in Arabic and Hebrew, saying the closed NGOs were working for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Ishtaye contended that the closed NGOs "operate within the framework of Palestinian law after obtaining the official license from the Palestinian government."
"The occupying power [Israel] has no right in any way to attack the Palestinian freedoms and Palestinian institutions," he said.
Ishtaye noted that the main task of the human rights institutions "is to expose the violations committed by the Israeli authorities in a systematic and organized manner against the Palestinian people."
The directors of the seven closed NGOs defied the Israeli army's orders and reopened their closed offices.
Ishtaye told the diplomats and rights activists that the Israeli army had killed 85 Palestinians since early January, adding more than 1,500 were arrested all over the West Bank during daily Israeli army raids on Palestinian towns and cities.
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