Israeli officials deny State Department’s claim they weren’t told in advance of the defense minister’s decision to name six Palestinian NGOs as terror groups.
By World Israel News Staff
The State Department claimed that Israel had not informed the U.S. administration of its intention to declare six Palestinian groups as terrorist organizations, but an Israeli security source says that Washington was updated ahead of time, Hebrew-language media reported Saturday.
“We will be engaging our Israeli partners for more information regarding the basis for the designation,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters Saturday, adding that Israel “didn’t give us prior warning.”
However, according to the Israeli security source, “officials in the U.S. administration were updated ahead of time on the intention for this designation and some intelligence was shared on the subject.”
The shocking revelation found that the six institutions in question, which belong to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, operate as an organized network under the direction of the terrorist organization and was involved in the execution of attacks throughout Israel, the Ministry of Defense stated.
“Those organizations were active under the cover of civil society organizations, but in practice belong and constitute an arm of the [PFLP] leadership, the main activity of which is the liberation of Palestine and destruction of Israel,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s office said in a statement.
The six groups are Addameer, al-Haq, Defense for Children Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Bisan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees.
In addition, many meetings of senior members of the organization were documented by the Shin Bet, Israel’s Security Agency, the ministry said.
Professor Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, said that “although the PFLP is a declared terrorist organization in the United States, Israel, Canada, and the European Union, many European governments have continued to invest in PFLP-linked NGOs for 20 years, severely exploiting their taxpayers’ money.
“These recurring cases point to a widespread phenomenon, and it is time for Europeans to freeze grants and set up independent mechanisms for evaluating funding for NGOs,” he said.
Palestinian activists called on the international community Saturday to help reverse Israel’s designation of the “human rights” groups as terrorist organizations, a label that effectively outlaws them, Associated Press reported.
They said the decision amounts to an attempt to silence groups that have documented Israel’s alleged harsh treatment of Palestinians over the years.
The terrorism label would allow Israel to raid the groups’ offices, seize assets, arrest employees and criminalize funding and expressions of support.
Israel’s security organizations “will continue to act and intensify the damage to terrorism and the terrorist infrastructure everywhere, and by all means,” Gantz stated.
“I call on the countries of the world and organizations, to assist in this fight and to avoid contact with companies and organizations that supply the combustion materials to terrorism.”