‘’There is irrefutable evidence of a deep-seated and systematic connection between Samidoun and the Islamic Republic of Iran, which continues to spread its tentacles of terror across Europe, through proxy groups like Samidoun,’’ said Arsen Ostrovsky, CEO of the International legal Forum (ILF).
Members of the European Parliament and international experts on counter-terrorism, security and international law warned the European Union about the rising threat posed to its values of democracy, tolerance and community cohesion posed by extremist groups and in particular Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, which they said should be listed as a terrorist group.
A symposium on Wednesday in the European Parliament in Brussels about countering radicalization and hatred spread by extremist organisations active in the European Union,” heard Arsen Ostrovsky, CEO of the International legal Forum (ILF) present a recently released 22-page report containing a detailed moral and legal case for the EU to designate Samidoun as a terrorist organization. Founded in 2012, this group “serves as an affiliate for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group, the report said.
‘’There is irrefutable evidence of a deep-seated and systematic connection between Samidoun and the Islamic Republic of Iran, which continues to spread its tentacles of terror across Europe, through proxy groups like Samidoun,’’ said Ostrovsky.
‘’This presents a direct, clear and unequivocal security threat to the European Union and EU citizens,’’ he added.
“Samidoun and Iran are two sides of the same jihadist coin,” Ostrovsky said. .
“The decision to designate them as a terrorist organization, whether by the European Union or the United States, should not be done as some favor to Israel, but because continuing to ignore their lethal antisemitism and inseparable connection to Iran would be inexcusable negligence and a direct and clear security threat, including to the United States, where Samidoun is also active and continues to fundraise for their global operations,” explained Ostrovsky.
Ostrovsky and Patricia Teitelbaum, chair of the Brussels-based NGO International Movement for Peace and Coexistence (IMPAC), co-wrote a Newsweek op-ed on Tuesday titled “How Iran’s Tentacles Are Reaching Into Europe.”
“Most of the prisoners for whom Samidoun advocates are no mere common criminals,” the two wrote. “They are murderers and convicted terrorists with ties to PFLP, including Ahmad Sa’adat, who in 2001 assassinated Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Ze’evi in Jerusalem, and Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, who is serving a life sentence in France for his role in the 1982 murder of American and Israeli diplomats in Paris.”
“It is utterly incomprehensible,” they added, “that the E.U. has not yet designated Samidoun a terror group.”
Teitelbaum attended a Samidoun “March of Return and Liberation” rally in Brussels on October 29, 2022, and said she was shocked by what she saw and heard.
‘’Mohammed Khatib, Samidoun’s European Coordinator who led the rally, praised murderous terrorists and called for genocide by all means necessary as well as using bullets and missiles to defeat the European Union and the United States’’ explained Teitelbaum.
Dutch MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen, who co-hosted the symposium, told the symposium that ‘’radicalization and extremism remain a key danger to the internal security of the EU. The October 2022 rally in Brussels is a deeply concerning event which should not be repeated,’’ he added.
“Europe must ensure that taxpayer funds are not provided to terror-linked actors,” said Itai Reuveni, Director of Communications of NGO Monitor, during the symposium.
Samidoun has chapters in Belgium, France, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Greece, Hungary, Sweden, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Lebanon, Iran and the Palestinian Authority, according to the ILF report.
Angel Mas, president of Action and Communication on the Middle East (ACOM) in Spain said Samidoun’s Spanish branch is one of its most active. “Supported by the Islamic Republic of Iran, its goal is to import is fanatical methods to Europe,” he said. “That makes Samidoun a clear and evident threat to public security.”
Imam Hassan Chalghoumi, president of the conference of imams of France, said: ‘’There are legal means against all discriminations. There should be the same against extremist threats to European civilization. Because hatred against the West is the engine of radicalization.’’
Other MEPs who attended the symposium included Antonio Lopez-Isturiz White, member of the committee on foreign affairs, Lukas Mandl, vice-chair of the subcommittee on security and defense and Costas Mavridis, of the committee on economic and monetary affairs.