EU nations defy Israeli ban of Palestinian NGOs, vow to continue aid
Nine EU countries issued a rare rebuke of Israel's decision to dissolve several internationally-funded NGOs, citing lack of evidence of their alleged 'terrorist' activities
By News Desk - July 13 2022

(Photo credit: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency)

In a joint statement by nine EU countries released on 12 July, the nations — who are donors of six Palestinian non-government organizations (NGO) — rebuked Israel’s baseless “terrorist” designation of the groups.

The foreign ministries of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden issued a joint statement refusing to accept Israel’s ill designation of six prominent Palestinian NGOs.

Back in October of 2021, Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Benny Gantz issued a statement designating several Palestinian organizations as terrorist groups for alleged ties with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

The organizations targeted by Tel Aviv are Al-Haq, Addameer, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP), Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees.

When in effect, this designation halts the activities of an NGO, and places its members under scrutiny for possible prosecution for terrorist actions against Israel.

Citing a lack of evidence, the European countries vowed to continue supporting the activities of the NGOs in the occupied territories.

“No substantial information was received from Israel that would justify reviewing our policy towards the six Palestinian NGOs on the basis of the Israeli decision to designate these NGOs as terrorist organizations,” the joint statement says.

The statement added that “should evidence be made available to the contrary,” the EU will review its position regarding these NGOs.

This statement came in response to a 74-page confidential report submitted by the Shin Bet to the EU in May, detailing the basis on which Tel Aviv’s decision was taken.

Another report was submitted a month later by the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs, but similarly lacked any legal basis for the terrorist designation.

“Israel’s decision to declare the organizations illegal won’t hold up in a European court. Israel’s law is based on a much broader definition of what constitutes terrorism in Europe,” said a western diplomat to +972 Magazine.

Generally, these designations by the Israeli security establishment are meant to establish hurdles against any activists documenting the violations committed by the occupation army, according to Khaled Quzmar a general director at DCIP.

The reports of Israel’s human rights violations played a crucial part in the historic decision taken by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty to label Israel an apartheid state earlier this year.

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