Israel labels six Palestinian civil society groups 'terrorist,' setting challenge for international donors

Among the teams are Al Haq, one of many longest-established human rights organizations within the West Bank, and Defense of Children International-Palestine (DCI-P), which paperwork violations of kid rights.

A press release from Israel’s Defense Ministry mentioned all six “constitute a network of organizations active undercover on the international front on behalf of the ‘Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP],’ to support its activity and further its goals.”

The assertion accused the teams of masquerading as civil society organizations when in reality, it mentioned, they had been managed by the banned PFLP and employed many PFLP activists.

It mentioned the teams amounted to fundraising entities for the PFLP, particularly by the receipt of donations from European nations and worldwide organizations.

The General Director of Al Haq, Shawan Jabarin, informed CNN the accusations had been “nonsense.”

“This is a political move and not a security one. [Israel’s] occupation has no limits to its injustice and insanity. But it will never stop us from defending our people and expose the crimes of the occupation,” he mentioned.

Shawan Jabarin, General Director of al-Haq, speaks at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland in June 2015.

The Palestinian Authority (PA), which enjoys restricted self-rule in components of the West Bank, known as the announcement “unhinged.”

“This fallacious and libelous slander is a strategic assault on Palestinian civil society and the Palestinian people’s fundamental right to oppose Israel’s illegal occupation and expose its continuing crimes,” a press release from the PA Foreign Ministry learn.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price informed reporters Friday afternoon Washington was in search of extra data from Israel over the idea for the designations, including the US had not been warned prematurely an announcement was coming.

The transfer by the Israeli authorities represents a problem for the numerous European nations that present financing to the six organizations, which, in addition to Al Haq and DCI-P, embody Addameer, the Bisan Center, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees.

European governments, lots of which want to flip a web page in relations with Israel following the institution of the brand new authorities led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, now danger being accused of funding terrorism in the event that they proceed financing the six teams.

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One senior European official working within the area admitted the transfer was possible aimed toward placing stress on donors’ decision-making however mentioned there wanted to be an evaluation of any proof put ahead by Israel.

“Let us see what evidence is provided by the Ministry of Defense to substantiate the designations of these NGOs. We have heard similar accusations many times before against some of these NGOs and they have never been substantiated, so this could be more fake news designed to deter European donors from funding Palestinian human rights organizations,” the official informed CNN.

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which companions with the NGOs, echoed these criticisms and mentioned the designations listed “extremely vague or irrelevant reasons, including entirely peaceful and legitimate activities” as justification for the phobia tag. Al Haq, for instance, is described within the official announcement as “engaged on behalf of the [PFLP] in the promotion of steps against Israel in the international arena.”

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The PFLP is a secular, nationalist entity, courting again to the Nineteen Sixties. It is the second-largest faction within the Palestine Liberation Organization after Fatah and requires the liberation of all of historic Palestine.

The European Union and the United States have designated it a terrorist group after assaults on Israeli targets. Its alleged hyperlinks with Palestinian non-governmental organizations are a spotlight of foyer teams like NGO Monitor, which has been hailed by a minimum of one Israeli lawmaker for securing the brand new terror designations.

Critics, although, say the actual motive for makes an attempt to hyperlink the NGOs with the PFLP is to discredit Palestinian dissent, a sentiment expressed in a joint assertion by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

“For decades, Israeli authorities have systematically sought to muzzle human rights monitoring and punish those who criticize its repressive rule over Palestinians. How the international community responds will be a true test of its resolve to protect human rights defenders,” the assertion mentioned.

CNN’s Jennifer Hansler contributed reporting.

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