Germany is "very concerned" over Israel's decision to list six Palestinian Arab groups as terror organizations, a government spokesperson said on Wednesday, according to the Anadolu news agency.
"We have of course taken note of the reports and are in talks with our Israeli partners. From the perspective of the Federal Government, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as the ability of a strong civil society to act are decisive," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Andrea Sasse was quoted as having said at a weekly government press conference in Berlin.
"This is what we advocate for our partners, of course also in the Near and Middle East. So we are very concerned about this Israeli decision," she added.
Sasse urged Israel to provide more information regarding the basis for the designation.
"The listing of complete organizations as terrorist entities is a step of far-reaching political, legal and financial importance for the organizations themselves as well as for their civil society environment. We therefore now expect further insights from the Israeli side," she said, according to Anadolu.
Last Friday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz designated six groups identified with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) 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).
US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price later said the US 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,” he 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).
On Monday, Price again insisted that the US was not provided with advance notice of Israel’s plans to declare the six groups as terrorist organizations.
"It is, to the best of our knowledge, accurate that we did not receive a specific heads up about any forthcoming designations," he said.
Yehoshua Zarka, deputy director-general of the department for strategic interests within the Foreign Ministry, told Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) in an interview on Tuesday that the Americans were updated prior to Gantz’s announcement, but may have expected a more in-depth briefing than the one they originally were given.