Jerusalem24 – Israeli Minister of Defense, Benny Gantz, has recently declared 6 Palestinian human rights groups to be “terrorist organizations” saying that they had effectively operated as an arm for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine group.
Representatives of the groups and international organizations denied the charges and accused Israel of trying to silence criticism of alleged human rights abuses.
In a conversation with Shadi Othman, a spokesperson for the European Union Representative Mission, told Jerusalem24 that “this is an important topic within the EU, and the EU has a long standing relation with Palestinian NGOs in general.”
The European Union said in a statement issued by its office in Jerusalem, “we have followed the news of the listing of six Palestinian organizations as terrorist organizations by the Israeli Ministry of Defense, some of which are implementing projects funded by the European Union and Member States.”
International human rights groups, immediately slammed the decision. In a joint statement, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International condemned the move as “appalling and unjust.”
“This decision is an alarming escalation that threatens to shut down the work of Palestine’s most prominent civil society organizations. The decades-long failure of the international community to challenge grave Israeli human rights abuses and impose meaningful consequences for them has emboldened Israeli authorities to act in this brazen manner,” the two organizations said.
Omar Shakir, a spokesperson for Human Rights Watch spoke with Jerusalem24, saying that “this is an attack against the global Human Rights movement.”