Jerusalem24 – The Israeli Ministry of Defense sent threatening letters to three Israeli lawyers representing the six Palestinian NGOs that Israel classified as terrorist organizations in October 2021, according to +972 Magazine.
The letter was sent by a Defense Ministry official to Michael Sfard and Avigdor Feldman on 14 July – who are representing Al-Haq and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees respectively – implying that continuing to represent these organizations could be a breach of Israeli anti-terror laws.
The letter informed the lawyers that collecting fees from the groups could constitute a violation of Israel’s terror laws. It also stated that the lawyers should seek approval from the Israeli Ministry of Finance. While the letter makes no mention of it, it does hint that the act of collecting fees from the NGOs can be regarded as a security offense.
The letter was sent ahead of a hearing set to take place on 20 July, during which a committee from the Ministry of Defense will be hearing appeals from Al-Haq and the Defense For Children International – Palestine (DCI-P).
In a letter response, Sfard wrote: “In view of the timing and significance of the letter, it is very difficult not to interpret it as a threat by the government towards a lawyer whose work is strictly legal.”
The lawyers said they have been representing organizations that have been declared “terrorist organizations” for over a decade, and that they have informed the Ministry every time. However, this is the first time they have received such a letter.