[JURIST] Israeli lawmakers on Monday passed a controversial law [press release] increasing regulation on Israeli human rights organizations. The law requires that organizations receiving more than 50 percent of their funding from foreign governments or political organizations disclose that they rely on such funding in “all communication with public officials and on television, newspapers, billboards and online.” Some, such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [BBC profile], have lauded the law as a measure to increase transparency between organizations and the public, but others believe it is just an attempt to target liberal organizations that disagree with the government. Many critics have denounced the bill claiming that it unfairly targets leftists that support Palestinian rights.
The increase in violence in the ongoing Israel-Palestinian conflict [HRW backgrounder] has created a contentious human rights situation. The UN Committee Against Torture (CAT), a body of independent experts, released [JURIST report] closing remarks to its fifty-seventh session in May, expressing concern about the use of excessive force by Israeli forces against Palestinians. An Israeli court in April convicted [JURIST report] Yosef Haim for the 2014 murder of a Palestinian teenager that led to a 50-day war in Gaza. UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories Makarim Wibisono resigned [JURIST report] from his position in January, saying that Israel has not granted him access to the Occupied Palestinian Territory after repeated requests.