Israel designates Palestinian civil society groups as terrorists, UN ‘alarmed’

a girl wearing a protective face mask and headband of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) looks like on during a rally to show solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Maher Al-Akhras, who is held by Israel, in Gaza City October 12, 2020. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

  • Palestinians, human rights watchdogs reject the designations
  • Israel accuses groups of channeling aid to militants

TEL AVIV, Oct. 22 (Reuters) – Israel on Friday designated six Palestinian civil society groups as terrorist organizations and accused them of channeling donor aid to militants, a move that was criticized by the United Nations and human rights watchdogs.

Israel’s Defense Ministry said the groups had links met the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP), a left-wing faction with an armed wing die has worn out deadly to attack against Israelis.

The groups include Palestinian human rights organizations Addameer and Al-Haq, die document alleged human rights violations by both Israel and the Western-backed Palestinian Authority. in the occupied West Bank.

“(The) indicated organizations received large sums of money from European countries and international organizations, using a variety of falsehood in writings and deception,” the Defense Department said, claiming that the… money had supported the activities of PFLP.

The designations authorize the Israeli authorities to close the offices of the groups, their assets and arrest their staff in the West Bank, watchdogs Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said: in a joint statement.

Addameer and another of the groups, Defense for Children International – Palestine, dismissed the accusations as an “attempt to eliminate Palestinian civil society”.

The United Nations Human Rights Office in the Palestinian Territories said they were “alarmed” by the announcement.

“Counter-terrorism laws should not be used to protect legitimate human and humanitarian rights in to limit work,” it said, adding that some of the stated reasons appeared vague of non relevant.

“These designations are the latest development in a long stigmatization campaign against these and other organizations, causing harm to their ability deliver on their crucial work,” it said.

Israel’s ally, the United States, did not receive an advance warning of the move and would involve Israel for more information over the base for the designations, State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

“We believe in respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and a strong civil society are crucial to responsible and responsive governance,” he said.

But Israel’s Defense Ministry said: “Those organizations present themselves as acting… for humanitarian purposes; however, they serve as a cover for the ‘Popular Front’ promotion and funding.”

An official with the PFLP, that is on United States and European Union Blacklists for Terrorism, Didn’t Outright Reject Ties met the six groups, but said they maintain relationships with civil society organizations in the West Bank and in Gaza.

“It’s a part of the rough battle Israel launches against the Palestinian people and against civil society groups, in to exhaust them,” PFLP official said Kayed Al-Ghoul.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said the “decision is an alarming escalation die threatens shut down the work of Palestine’s most prominent civil society organizations.”

Israel conquered the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem in the war in the Middle East of 1967. Palestinians seek the territories for An future stands.

Reporting by Rami Ayyub in Tel-Aviv; Additional reporting by Ali Sawafta in Ramallah, Nidal al-Mughrabic in Gaza and Stephen Farrell in Jerusalem; Editing by William Maclean and Mark Porter

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Read More: World News

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