Reference number: 107/2023
date: September 16, 2023
Native language: Arabic
The International Commission “Hashd” requests that the Council of Ministers revoke Decision No. 09 of 2023 restricting public employees’ membership in charity groups.
The International Commission to Support Palestinian Rights (Hashd) has followed with great concern and astonishment the issuance of Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Muhammad Shtayyeh, dated September 11, 2023, Resolution No. (09/221/18/M.W./M.A.) for the year 2023, which obliges all state employees to join charitable societies, civil society organizations, and non-profit companies, except after obtaining the approval of the Council of Ministers based on the appointment of the head of the government department.
This decision imposes unjustified and unconstitutional restrictions on the work of civil society organizations, limits Palestinian citizens’ ability to form and join charitable societies, and carries an implicit decision to reconstitute hundreds of boards of directors of existing associations and their general assemblies, in an intervention that is contrary to Palestinian law.
It should be noted that this is not the first time that the executive authority has intervened to impose unconstitutional and unjustified restrictions on the work of civil society organizations, as the Palestinian President issued Decree Law No. 07 of 2021 amending the Charitable Societies and Civil Society Organizations Law No. 01 of 2000 on 02/28/2021. Which imposed on civil society organizations at the time to submit their annual plans and budgets to the competent ministry, obtain prior approval to collect any donations or obtain any funding, and facilitate the dissolution of associations in the event of violation, making this subject to the authority’s authority rather than the Board of Directors and the General Assembly, in addition to In the case of insolvency, the associations’ funds go to the general budget.
The International Commission to Support Palestinian Rights (Hashd), emphasizes that the restrictions imposed by the Council of Ministers’ decision constitute an interference that would obstruct citizens’, including state employees’, right to form and join charitable societies, and notes that the Council of Ministers’ decision is seen as a continuation of the approach based on the exclusion and restriction of public freedoms, particularly the freedom to form and operate charitable societies, and the previous restrictions, including the requirement of security approval regarding the renewal of the accreditation of boards of directors, and unjustified interference in the work of associations, which contributes to obstructing their work and their vital role in achieving societal interests, so it register and demand the following:
- The International Commission (Hashd): affirms that the decision of the Council of Ministers is unconstitutional because it contradicts the text of the second paragraph of Article 26, which refers to Palestinians’ legal right to form unions, associations, federations, associations, clubs, and popular institutions.
- The International Commission (Hashd): urges the Council of Ministers to withdraw Decision No. 09 of 2023 on the membership of state employees in charitable societies, civil society organizations, and non-profit corporations, and to work immediately to withdraw this decision and consider it not issued.