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US questions Israel designation of Palestinian NGO's as terrorist groups

The State Department expects Israel to substantiate its designation of six Palestinian civil society groups as terror organizations.
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper (L) welcomes Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz during an honor cordon at the Pentagon, Washington, Sept. 22, 2020.

An envoy from the Shin Bet and Israel’s Foreign Ministry will leave for Washington this week, in an attempt to appease tensions with the Biden administration. The diplomatic crisis erupted Oct. 22, after Defense Minister Benny Gantz designated six Palestinian civil society groups as terrorist organizations. The Israeli envoy is expected to present his American interlocutors with information and proof that the targeted groups are directly linked or affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

The six groups designated by Gantz as terrorist organizations are the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, ADDAMEER - Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Bisan Center for Research and Development, Al-Haq organization, Defense for Children International - Palestine and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees. A statement by the Defense Ministry Oct. 22 said, “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.”

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