The Western-supported NGO, a critic of the Islamic regime, was assigned
to promote democracy and political dialogue. The group has helped in
training youngsters and preparing them for the job market.
Attorney General Mohammed Abed ordered the closure of Sharek, with
offices in Gaza City, Khan Yunis and Rafah, Middle East Newsline reported. The Hamas order came after a
year of raids and other official harassment of the NGO, directed by Mohib
"Without giving any legal justifications, the police forced the staff to
abandon the offices across Gaza and hand over the keys," Sharek said.
Palestinian sources said the closure of Sharek marked the latest
step in the Hamas campaign against NGOs. Sharek escaped closure in
the first round of the Hamas crackdown on NGOs in 2007 and 2008.
But over the last year, Hamas security forces have repeatedly raided
Sharek facilities, operated in partnership with Gaza municipalities. Hamas
officers have frequently seized computers from the organization and summoned
its director and board for interrogation.
"If Sharek Youth Forum is closed based on its lack of willingness to
waver, what will happen in Gaza in a year, five years, 10 years?" the group