Israeli Claims Against Palestinian NGOs Are Unsubstantiated
An extensive dossier presented by the Israeli Shin Bet to European governments failed to produce any evidence of sorts to corroborate the Israeli decision to label the Palestinian NGOs as "terrorist organizations".
European countries are not convinced by the alleged proofs "Israel" has presented to designate six Palestinian human rights groups as "terrorists".
A 74-page document prepared by the Israeli Shin Bet service has been shared with European governments back in May, supposedly containing 'evidence' linking the Palestinian NGOs with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP), a resistance faction. The confidential dossier failed to persuade its recipients of the truthfulness of any claims made by the Israeli occupation.
In turn, the European countries refused to stop financing the listed groups with many officials revealing their skepticism towards the allegation.
The allegations mentioned in the dossier are almost entirely based on interrogations of Amru Hamudeh and Said Abedat, who served as accountants for the Union of Health Committees before getting fired for embezzling funds. They were later detained by the Shin Bet.
Both never worked for the six organizations in question.
Hamudeh and Abedat alleged, as seen in redacted excerpts from their interrogation, that the organizations are PFLP branches despite not backing any of their claims. Even claims of receipts forging made by members of these organizations were not followed up by any concrete proof or detailed information.
When AP reached out for comments surrounding this situation, the Israeli Security Ministry and the Shin Bet did not respond.
The six Palestinian NGOs
On October 22, Israeli PM Benny Gantz announced that his government is listing six Palestinian NGOs as "terrorist organizations", accusing them of having links with the PFLP.
The organizations in question are the Al-Haq human rights group, the Addameer rights group, 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.
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The designated organizations have been delivering humanitarian aid to Palestinians harmed by the Israeli occupation and who've had their human rights abused in the occupied territories.
The Israeli decision consequently a wave of condemnations by many world organizations, leaders and politicians.
"Israel's" closest ally, the US, was surprised by this decision, with State Department spokesman Ned Price saying that Israeli officials "did not inform us in advance about this," stressing that "respect for human rights is an important principle."
Democratic Party Representative, Ilhan Omar, wrote on her Twitter account, "There must be immediate consequences from the US and the international community for this brazen act."
Labelling effective NGOs “terrorists” is a textbook way to evade accountability for human rights violations—and an affront to everyone who cares about peace.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) October 22, 2021
There must be immediate consequences from the US and the international community for this brazen act. https://t.co/VyjU4W3yrs
In turn, Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations Commissioner of Human Rights, said on Tuesday that the decision was an attack on human rights defenders, on freedoms of association, opinion and expression, and the right to public participation, calling for the move to be immediately revoked.
Meanwhile, Germany revealed that it is very concerned by the Israeli decision, with the German foreign ministry spokeswoman stressing the "broad political, legal, and financial implications" of the groups' placement on a terror list.
The most intriguing response though must have come from Israeli media, as the Jerusalem Post criticized the decision by writing that the announcement "was done without providing any evidence. Just a statement to the media. No briefing or release of documents was made to prove the charges being leveled against the groups."
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney had expressed concern about the listing of the organizations, noting that similar accusations made previously against Palestinian civil society organizations backed by the EU and Ireland "have not been substantiated."
The Israeli decision is a clear attempt to protect the occupation from criticisms and human rights violations accusations in world bodies akin to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which began investigating Israeli war crimes last March. The ICC's investigation is vehemently opposed by "Israel", given that it might reveal to the public opinion the savagery of its crimes against Palestinians.