Abbas condemns Israeli designation of terrorist organizations

PA chairman vows to continue supporting six groups designated as terrorist organizations by Israel.

Elad Benari ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday condemned the Israeli Defense Ministry's decision to designate six Palestinian Arab organizations as terrorist organizations, Kan News reported.

At a meeting of the PA leadership, Abbas declared that the PA would continue to support these institutions.

On Friday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz designated six groups identified with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLO) as terrorist organizations: Union of Palestinian Women's Committees (UPWC), ADDAMEER - Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Bisan Center for Research and Development, Al-Haq Organization, Defense for Children International–Palestine (DCI-P), and the Union Of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC).

The US State Department later said it was not notified in advance of Israel’s decision and would seek clarifications from Israel on the basis for this decision.

“We will be engaging our Israeli partners for more information regarding the basis for the designation,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters in a briefing.

"Israel didn't give us prior warning about this designation," he added.

Israeli Defense officials responded to the statement and said that US administration officials were given information about the decision beforehand and that the relevant intelligence was shared with the US by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet).

Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) criticized the Defense Ministry’s move, telling Kan 11 in an interview that this is a serious decision and that Meretz will demand clarification.

Zandberg added that "three of the organizations are long-standing and well-known human rights organizations. Many times, human rights, the left and opposition to the occupation are linked to terrorism - this is not the case."