Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Israel's NGO crackdown spells trouble

The Israeli government's restrictions on the movement of NGO workers will impose more hardship on beleaguered Palestinians

Seth Freedman
guardian.co.uk, Monday 25 January 2010

"Last week saw the latest move in the Israeli government's clampdown on those working in solidarity with the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. Ending a decades-old policy of granting work visas to employees of NGOs operating in the region, Israeli officials are now issuing NGO workers with tourist visas instead, prohibiting them from working in areas under Israeli jurisdiction, including Area C (which makes up 60% of the West Bank) and all of East Jerusalem.

Many NGOs maintain a presence in East Jerusalem and in locations throughout Area C, and as a result of the policy change they fear having to shut up shop and relocate to towns and cities inside Area A. Once there, it appears that NGO employees will be subject to the same restrictions on entering Israel as Palestinians are currently, which would severely hamper their ability to serve the needs of the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem and in Area C....."

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