The United States is seeking answers from Israel over its decision to designate six Palestinian rights groups as ‘terror organizations’, the State Department’s spokesman said on Friday.
The measure applies to Addameer, a detainees’ rights organization, Defense for Children Palestine, legal NGO Al-Haq, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees and the Bisan Center for Research and Development.
Palestinian human rights groups and NGOs respond to Israel's "terrorist organisation" designations, calling the move "a sinister, unprecedented, and blanket attack on Palestinian human rights defenders".
Statement issued by PNGO & PHROC. pic.twitter.com/895kodijzU
— Ben White (@benabyad) October 22, 2021
Speaking in a telephone briefing on Friday, State Department Spokesman Ned Price told reporters that Washington will “be engaging our Israeli partners for more information regarding the basis for these designations”.
“The Israeli government did not give us advance warning” of the move, he added.
“We believe respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and a strong civil society are critically important to responsible and responsive governance,” Price said.
Breaking: @hrw & @amnesty in joint statement deem Israel's move to effectively outlaw 6 Palestinian NGOs "an attack on the int'l human rights movement" & warn that intl community's response will be "true test of its resolve to protect rights defenders." We proudly stand with them https://t.co/ZfST9hQJbZ pic.twitter.com/YUt3o3YDeE
— Omar Shakir (@OmarSShakir) October 22, 2021
Israel’s targeting of Palestinian civil society groups effectively outlaws their activities, threatens jail time for employees, volunteers and donors and allows for the seizure of assets.
The move drew a wave of condemnations on Friday, from local and international rights groups, as well as world bodies.
(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)