This research focuses on the legal environment for Civil Society Actors (CSAs) in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This research was conducted in a period of great repression against Palestinian civil society organizations and the rights to peaceful gathering and freedom of speech which are a prerequisite for a strong and vibrant civil society. Bisan center which is conducting this research has been targeted by these attacks as in early Thursday 07/29/2021, Israeli occupation forces raided the headquarters of Bisan Center for Research and development, vandalizing offices, breaking the main entrance door, and shattering the doors of offices inside the center, they also rummaged the center and stole office owned equipment and devices. The occupation’s increasing shrinking space for Palestinian CSOs and disregard for CSO rights and jurisdictions has become a routine, and with no official protection of CSOs, the entirety of the Palestinian civil society has become permissible for occupation forces to harass and delegitimize.

Unfortunately, the Palestinian Authority is also playing an increasing negative role in repressing freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of forming and working within CSOs. Recently, the PA has arrested, attacked and tortured many Palestinians during the peaceful protests demanding justice for Nizar Banat. This has also caused increased scrutiny on Palestinian CSOs, specifically those working on human rights and socio-economic justice in Palestine. Two employees in Bisan were also arrested by the P.A in the months of July and August and are currently awaiting trial on charges relating to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.

Thus the need for concrete knowledge on how to create an enabling environment for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to tackle such grave violations of human rights.

Palestine Report