Israeli Forces Raid Ramallah NGOs

Emily L. Hauser on what it means for Israel to raid the administrative heart of the Palestinian Authority.

If you are ever tempted, at any moment, to think of the Palestinian Authority as a sovereign government, the relationship between it and Israel as that of equals, and the Israeli occupation as anything less than complete, consider the following news story:

Israeli forces raided three civil society organizations in Ramallah early Tuesday…. Soldiers raided the offices of the Agricultural Work Committees, prisoners group Addameer, and the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees, located in Qaddura refugee camp.

Four laptops, one hard disk and a video camera were taken from Addameer's office, a statement from the group said.

…Israeli forces confiscated files and computer hardware from the women's committee before ransacking the office, witnesses said.

During the raid, clashes broke out with local youths and Israeli soldiers, who responded by firing tear gas.

Military forces also raided the offices of the Palestinian NGO Network.

…An Israeli army spokesman said that "overnight IDF soldiers searched several offices in Ramallah which are affiliated with the Popular Front terrorist organization."

In February, Israeli forces raided two Palestinian television networks in Ramallah and briefly detained four employees, journalists said.

Ramallah is the administrative heart of the Palestinian Authority. It is the city in which Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has his offices, where his cabinet meets, and where diplomats travel to discuss the possibility of reviving the moribund peace process.

And in the wee hours of the morning, under cover of darkness, Israeli forces raided the offices of four different non-profits with possible ties to an organization which Israel doesn’t like—raids similar to those the military conducted in May of this year, and as today’s report indicates, in February as well.

Last month, President Obama said that “there’s no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.” And he was right.

But apparently the people living in the Palestinian Authority are supposed to tolerate incursions by a foreign army in the very city that houses their government.

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You know, just like Israelis would tolerate a raid by the Palestinian Authority’s security forces on Jerusalem.