Palestinians Condemn US Decision to Remove Israeli Extremists Kach from Terror List

In 1997, Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein opened fire inside al-Khalil Ibrahimi Mosque. (Photo: File)

The Palestinian Authority on Saturday condemned a decision by the US State Department to remove the Jewish extremist group Kach from its list of terrorist organizations, The New Arab reported.

The extremist group, which was founded by the late Rabbi Meir Kahane in 1971, supports violent attacks on Palestinians and called for their expulsion from Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

It was designated a terrorist group by the US State Department in 1997, after one of its supporters, Baruch Goldstein, massacred 29 Palestinians at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron in 1994.

However, the Biden administration said last week that it would remove the group from its list of terrorist organizations on the grounds that it “has not been linked to a terrorist attack since 2005”.

In a statement, the Palestinian Authority said that the US was “rewarding” Israeli extremist groups, noting that the US Congress still designated the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) as a terrorist group, even though the UN had previously recognized it as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

“This decision is a reward for the operatives of this terrorist organization, including Itamar Ben-Gvir, who is always fuelling tensions in occupied Jerusalem and in the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories, as well as Rabbi Benzi Govstein, who has called for the destruction of the Dome of the Rock,” the Palestinian Authority’s presidency said in a statement.

Four other groups will also be removed from the list of foreign terrorist organizations by the US State Department on the grounds that they have been inactive.

The removal means that a series of sanctions on the groups will be removed, including asset freezes, travel bans, and a prohibition on US citizens donating to the groups.

(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)

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