U.S. Says Israel Gave No Warning Before Labeling Palestinian NGOs as Terror Groups

'We did not receive a specific heads up about any forthcoming designations' says U.S. spokesperson, as Israelis head to Washington to present classified evidence of terror activity

Ben Samuels
Ben Samuels
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Offices of Palestinian NGO, Addameer, on Sunday.
Offices of Palestinian NGO, Addameer, on Sunday.Credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN / REUTERS
Ben Samuels
Ben Samuels

WASHINGTON – State Department Spokesperson Ned Price on Monday denied Israeli claims that the U.S. was provided with advance notice of plans to declare six Palestinian civil society organizations in the West Bank as terrorist organizations.

Price noted the Israeli delegation heading to Washington to clarify the process behind the decision-making, but when pressed on communication before the decision, Price said "it is, to the best of our knowledge, accurate that we did not receive a specific heads up about any forthcoming designations."

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On Friday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz signed an order declaring six civil society organizations in the West Bank as terrorist organizations.

On Sunday, it was also revealed that the State Prosecutor Amit Aisman approved the Defense Ministry's decision to classify the NGOs as terror organizations after the Shin Bet presented "extensive and convincing" evidence linking them to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, according to a further source.

In addition, a security source in Israel said that there is clear-cut evidence, including footage and receipts, against the six Palestinians NGOs. The official added that Shin Bet and Defense Ministry representatives will fly to Washington to present the "unambiguous" evidence to the Biden administration.

In addition, the source said that all the government's actions on the matter were coordinated between the Prime Minister's Office, the Justice Ministry and the Defense Ministry.

The six civil society organizations are Addameer, Al-Haq, the Bisan Center, Defense for Children International Palestine, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees.

Earlier Sunday, the Palestinians' UN observer mission asked the Security Council to condemn Israel's designation of the groups as terror organizations, calling it "false and libelous slander."

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