Hebron Rehabilitation Committeeby : NGO Monitor
March 19, 2023
|In their own words||"to preserve [Hebron's] cultural heritage, to revive the Old City by reclaiming abandoned buildings, and to contain and encircle," Jewish neighborhoods inside the Old City.|
- The Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC) does not publish financial information, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability.
- In 2019-2021, the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee received NOK 5.8 million from Norway.
- In 2018, Hebron Rehabilitation Committee and Ma’an Development Center were implementing partners on a $250,706 project funded by the UN OCHA occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund to “Reinforce the capacities of protection from natural, man-made hazards and conflict escalation of acutely-vulnerable Palestinian households.”
- In May 2019, MA’AN Director General Sami Khader attended a memorial event organized by the PFLP that centered on PFLP political bureau member Rabah Muhanna. The hall was decorated with PFLP paraphernalia. In May 2018, Ma’an Development Center employee Ahmad Abdallah Aladini was killed in the violence on the Gaza border. Aladini was a “comrade” of the PFLP terror group.
- HRC’s mission is to “preserve Hebron as an historical Arab Palestinian town, in order to safeguard its cultural and architectural heritage against the threat of a takeover by extremist Israeli settlers.”
- HRC rhetoric includes accusing Israel of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide,” and “collective punishment.”
- Releases monthly and annual reports detailing “Israeli violations in the old city of Hebron.” The reports describe the “violations and abuses practiced by the Israeli occupation soldiers and settlers” and the “Zionist blueprint prepared in advance to expel the Palestinian population from the Old City.”
- In August 2022, HRC published an article accusing Israel of “isolating the Old City from its surroundings and tightening the noose around the Palestinian citizens…with the aim of Judaizing the area.”
- In July 2022, HRC held a workshop with the Norwegian Refugee Council on the “impact of Israeli violations on the economic situation in the old city of Hebron.”
- In April 2021, HRC published an article that included classic antisemitic attacks on the Talmud, accusing Israelis of “holding Talmudic rituals.”
- In March 2021, HRC launched a “Suffering in a Picture” competition, calling for “local and international audiences to reveal brutal occupation practices… [by] filming the strongest shots and scenes that express the violation of human rights by the Israeli occupation.”
- In February 2021, HRC Director Imad Hamdan stated that “the Jews had the infrastructure and the material capability to establish a state, but they lacked anything to connect them to Palestine, and that is what they are trying to create.”
- In March 2020, Hebron Rehabilitation Committee submitted an amicus brief to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in support of ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s decision to investigate Israel for alleged war crimes.
- In February 2021, HRC “received with great ecstasy” the announcement that the ICC has jurisdiction to investigate Israel. According to HRC, “[we] hope that the International Criminal Court will soon look into the memoranda and lawsuits filed against the occupation, including what the Hebron Reconstruction Committee submitted against the occupation authorities regarding their perpetration of war crimes in the Old City of Hebron.”
- In October 2019, Hebron Rehabilitation Committee held a workshop with Addameer on the “role of the legal unit in documenting Israeli violations in relation to the issue of detention.”
- Addameer is a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) “affiliate.” The PFLP is a terrorist organization designated as such by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel. For more information on Addameer’s PFLP ties, read NGO Monitor’s report “Addameer’s Ties to the PFLP Terrorist Group.”
- Salah Hamouri, a lawyer at Addameer, was arrested and convicted in 2005 for “attempting to assassinate Ovadia Yosef…and for his involvement with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.” According to Addameer, Hamouri was banned from entering the West Bank until September 2016, following his release in a prisoner exchange deal in 2011. (Hamouri was released in December 2011 as part of a swap of over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit). Upon his release in 2011, according to the PFLP, Hamouri stated that “there is no option for the Palestinian people except resistance because it is the only way for us to achieve our people’s rights, our freedom, and our self- determination.”
- Ayman Nasser, coordinator of Addameer’s legal unit, was arrested on September 9, 2018. On September 16, 2018, Nasser received a 6-month administrative detention order. On July 29, 2019, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled on Nasser’s administrative detention. It found that he had engaged in “organizational activity in the context of the Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine], “which was “significant and dangerous, along with additional Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine] members.” [On file with NGO Monitor]
- In February 2019, following the removal of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), HRC published a statement alleging that the “termination of the mission’s work leads to spreading terror and fear in the souls of the Palestinians…this decision came in light of the continuing crimes of the occupation by killing the Palestinians in cold blood without justification and without being held accountable.”
- In January 2017, in response to Israeli forces detaining five employees of HRC, HRC Director Imad Hamdan stated that these arrests “aim to obstruct the committee’s work in maintaining the cultural aspect of Hebron and protect it from the Israeli attempts to Judaize it.”
- In October 2016, HRC called for “intervention” by “human rights organizations, diplomats, foreign governments, UN agencies and other actors” to prevent the establishment of a new settlement in Hebron, as the “establishment of this settlement would be detrimental for Palestinian life and would cause an exacerbation of the ethnic cleansing already taking place.”
- In March 2016, at a side event at the UN Human Rights Council titled “Israel’s forcible transfer of Palestinians inside the occupied Palestinian territory,” HRC distributed materials asserting the need to “save the Old City from the greed of Jewish settlers.”
- In January 2016, HRC was a signatory on a statement calling for the “Suspension of the EU-Israel association agreement until Israel complies with International Law,” as well as an “immediate end to collective punishment.”
- In August 2012, HRC published a statement referring to a terrorist attack by the Islamic Jihad as a “heroic operation…carried out by a group of Palestinian resistance fighters.”
- The Hebron Rehabilitation Committee’s “Partners and Friends” include Al-Haq, Land Research Center, Palestinian Red Crescent Society, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Save the Children, and Medecins sans Frontiers.
- HRC is a “Regional and National Partner” of the Habitat International Coalition.
- On August 29, 2017, Joseph Schechla, HIC coordinator of the Housing and Land Rights Network, wrote an article on the “Anatomy of ISIL in the Middle East,” discussing how “the ISIL phenomenon ironically has its roots in deep anomalies and double standards of the interstate system itself. This is only symbolically reflected in the contemporary acronym of ISIL, which corresponds with the abbreviation for the so-called “Islamic state” (IS) joined to the binomial code for the State of Israel (IL). This coincidence of acronyms completes the analogy of the respective Jihadist and Zionist movements and their common attributes at the expense of indigenous Middle East peoples. Just as one follows the other in time, the participants in the former-named (IS) may be counting on the same seamless impunity long enjoyed by its latter-cited predecessor (IL).”
- In 2017, HRC partnered with theOakland Foundationlaunch the project “Palestine: For Land and Life” alongside BADIL,Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions(ICAHD), Youth Against Settlements, andHebron Rehabilitation Committee
- In 2017, the Oakland Institutelauncheda project titled “Palestine: For Land and Life” that “offers a glimpse of everyday life for the people in Palestine and the monumental issues that stand in the way of peace and justice in the region.” As part of the project, the Oakland Institute published a series of reports accusing Israel of apartheid, colonialism, and land grabs.