Thursday, 2 Dec 2021 - 28 of Kislev, 5782
EU

Israel’s listing of six Palestinian NGOs as branches of terrorist group PFLP ‘is a matter of serious concern’, says EU’s Josep Borrell

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Last Friday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced that the six groups—Al-Haq, Addameer, Defense for Children International-Palestine, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees—operate as arms of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a group which is considered by several countries to be a terror organization, including the United States and the European Union.

In a meeting with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh on Wednesday in Brussels, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell stressed that the Israeli Defence Ministry’s decision to list six Palestinian organisations as terrorist organisations ‘’is a matter of serious concern,’’ a statement from the EU’s external service said.

Borrell recalled the EU’s support to civil society organisations ‘’that contribute to peace efforts and confidence building between Israelis and Palestinians.’’

‘’The EU will very closely examine the allegations. Finally, he added that civil society organisations are a force in promoting international law, human rights, and democratic values, across the world and in Palestine,’’ the statement reads.

Last Friday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced that the six groups—Al-Haq, Addameer, Defense for Children International-Palestine, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees—operate as arms of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a group which is considered by several countries to be a terror organization, including the United States and the European Union.

The Israeli Justice and Defense Ministries have issued documents classifying the six Palestinian NGOs as branches of the PFLP.

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell (R) met Wednesday with PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh in Brussels.

A senior diplomatic-security source, quoted by The Jerusalem Post, said the case against the organizations  is “cast in concrete” and that intelligence from the Shin Bet,  Israel’s security service, demonstrate an “unambiguous and direct” connection between the six NGOs and the PFLP.

According to an Israeli defense source, the PFLP had adopted a modus operandi of using such groups to launder funding for terror activities.

“Israel has the responsibility to defend itself and the lives of its citizens and to fight terror everywhere and from every aspect,” the source stated.

Among the items the Israeli government is using to show the connection between the organizations and the PFLP is a video from the Palestinian Wattan Media Network of leading figures in the NGOs, including Khaleeda Jarrar and Abdullatif Ghaith of Addameer, Shawan Jabarin of Al-Haq, Gebril Muhamad of Bisan, and Ahmad Saadat of the UPWC, at an event in a hall with dozens of PFLP flags hanging.

Jerusalem-based think tank NGO Monitor noted the organizations’ leaders’ presence at the PFLP event in a post on its website last year.

The Palestinian NGOs outlawed by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz as branches of PFLP terror organization. 

The event in Ramallah honored PFLP political bureau member Rabah Muhanna who, according to information posted by the PFLP, took part in the establishment of Addameer, UHWC and UAWC.

PFLP terrorist attacks included the assassination of Israeli minister Rehavam Ze’evi in 2001, suicide bombings during the Second Intifada that killed 10 Israelis, an attempt to assassinate former chief rabbi Ovadia Yosef, and the 2011 murder of five members of the Fogel family – parents and three children, one of whom was an infant.

UAWC’s Finance and Administration director Abdul Razeq Farraj was indicted in October 2019 on four counts, including aiding an attempt to cause death in the terrorist attack on the Shnerb family. Farraj’s indictment refers to Ubai Aboudi, a PFLP member working with Farraj on recruitment, and the UAWC’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officer until April 2019. The commander of the PFLP terror cell that prepared and detonated the bomb was Samer Arbid, an accounted for UAWC at the time of his 2019 arrest.

The PFLP is outlawed in Israel, the US, the EU, Canada, Australia and Japan, and is responsible for a series of hijackings in the 1960s.

The Israeli government is sending representatives from the foreign ministry and Shin Bet to Washington in the coming days to provide further intelligence on how the six Palestinian NGOs, claiming to be human rights groups, funneled funds to the PFLP.

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