A statement from Israel’s Defense Ministry said that all six “form a network of undercover organizations operating on the international front on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. [PFLP],’ to support your activity and further your goals.”
The statement accused the groups of disguising as civil society organisations, when in fact, they were controlled by the banned PFLP and employed many PFLP activists.
It said the groups raised funds for the PFLP through the receipt of donations from institutions, notably European countries and international organisations.
Al Haq’s general director, Shawn Jabreen, told Granthshala the allegations were “nonsense”.
“It is a political move and not a security. [Israel’s] His injustice and madness of business knows no bounds. But it will never stop us from protecting our people and exposing the crimes of the occupation.”
The Palestinian Authority (PA), which enjoys limited self-rule in parts of the West Bank, called the declaration “unhinged”.
“This misleading and outrageous slander is a strategic attack on Palestinian civil society and the Palestinian people’s fundamental right to oppose the illegal occupation of Israel and expose its ongoing crimes,” a statement from the PA Foreign Ministry said.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters Friday afternoon that Washington was seeking more information from Israel based on the designations, adding that the US had not been warned in advance that an announcement was coming.
The Israeli government’s move represents a challenge for several European countries that provide funding to six organizations, as well as Al Haq and the DCI-P, including Admir, the Bissan Center, the Federation of Palestinian Women’s Societies, and the Union. Agricultural work committees.
European governments, many of whom have been looking to turn a page in relations with Israel after the installation of a new government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, are now looking to reduce the financing of terrorism if they continue to finance the six groups. being accused of.
A senior European official working in the area acknowledged that the move was intended to put pressure on donors’ decision-making, but added that any evidence put forward by Israel needed to be analysed.
“Let us see what evidence has been provided by the Ministry of Defense to substantiate the designations of these NGOs. We have heard similar allegations against some of these NGOs many times before and they have never been certified. So it could be more fake news. Stop European donors from funding Palestinian human rights organizations,” the official told Granthshala.
The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which partners with NGOs, echoed those criticisms, saying that the designation was given “extremely vague or irrelevant reasons, including purely peaceful and lawful activities” as justification for the terrorist tag. list as. For example, al-Haq is described in the official declaration as “engaged on behalf of” [PFLP] in promoting measures against Israel in the international arena.”
The PFLP is a secular, nationalist organization dating back to the 1960s. It is the second largest faction in the Palestine Liberation Organization after Fatah and calls for the liberation of all historical Palestine.
Following the attacks on Israeli targets, the European Union and the United States declared it a terrorist organization. Its alleged links with Palestinian non-governmental organizations are the focus of lobby groups such as the NGO Monitor, which has been hailed by at least one Israeli lawmaker for acquiring the new terror designations.
However, critics say the real reason for efforts to link NGOs with the PFLP is to discredit Palestinian dissent, a sentiment expressed in a joint statement by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
“For decades, the Israeli authorities have called for a systematic shutdown of human rights monitoring and punishing those who criticize its repressive regime on Palestinians,” the statement said. The response of the international community is to protect human rights defenders. The true test of his resolve will be.”
Granthshala’s Jennifer Hansler contributed reporting.
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