Thursday, May 23
Latest News
  1. Cluster of incendiary balloons land in southern Israel
  2. Palestinian FM condemns Germany's vote to define BDS as 'anti-Semitic'
  3. Israeli forces forcibly evict Muslim worshipers from Al-Aqsa
  4. Israeli forces detain 14-year-old Palestinian near Ramallah
  5. Erekat: Deviation from peace terms of reference doomed to fail
  6. Iceland's Hatari shocks Eurovision with Palestinian flags
  7. UNRWA: 4 Palestinian children killed in attack on Syria refugee camp
  8. Israeli forces attack, injure Palestinian youths in Jerusalem
  9. Germany to condemn BDS movement as 'anti-Semitic'
  10. FM to UK Parliament: Two-state solution could reach point of no return

UN concerned over closure of Gaza NGO

Dec. 8, 2010 2:34 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 8, 2010 9:54 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The United Nations expressed concern Tuesday over Hamas authorities' closure of the Sharek Youth Forum, a large independent NGO in Gaza.

"I am very concerned about the recent forced closing of Sharek Youth Forum in Gaza. Sharek is an important NGO partner of the United Nations in its work on behalf of children and the youth in Gaza," said Maxwell Gaylard, the UN humanitarian coordinator in the Palestinian territories.

He noted in a statement that "Sharek’s work forms part of the many important activities carried out by civil society organizations in the occupied Palestinian Territory promoting development and the protection of human rights."

The Gaza attorney general ordered Sharek's branch in Gaza to close last week over a criminal investigation into the group, but officials have not explained the basis for the probe. Sharek officials say they are being targeted for instilling liberal values in Palestinian youths.

Hamas allied police arrested at least 13 people on Sunday at a student-organized demonstration against the closure of the organization. One of the protesters, Mustafa Al-Ghoul, is still in police custody after he refused to sign an agreement not to participate in future protests, members of his family told Ma'an. If he signs the agreement, a relative said, he would also be forced to pay a 5,000 shekel fine and agree to abide by a conservative code of conduct, including refusing contact with women.

The shutdown of the organization and banning of subsequent protests has also drawn condemnation from several Palestinian human rights organizations, including the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, and the Al-Dameer Center for Human Rights.
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015