EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell
EU foreign affairs chief Josep BorrellReuters

The European Union (EU) said on Monday that it plans to continue to provide support for six Palestinian Arab organizations that were designated as terrorist organizations by Israel due to their support for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, said in a statement that the EU “is deeply concerned by the raids on six Palestinian civil society organizations that took place in the morning of 18 August and the measures that followed them including arrests and interrogations of staff members of these organizations, as part of a worrying reduction of space for civil society in the [occupied Palestinian territories]. These actions are not acceptable.”

His statement added that “no substantial information was received from Israel that would justify reviewing our policy towards the six Palestinian civil society organizations on the basis of the Israeli decision to designate these NGOs as ‘terrorist organizations.’”

“We have been consistently clear with Israeli authorities on this, together with many EU Member States and like-minded partners, including following the latest events. Should convincing evidence be made available to the contrary, we would act accordingly. In the meantime, it is crucial to ensure that anti-terrorism legislation does not lead to undermining civil society and its valuable work and contributions to building fairer and more peaceful societies,” said Borrell.

“The EU supports the call by the UN agencies on Israel to refrain from any action that would prevent these organizations from continuing their critical human rights, humanitarian and development work in the oPt,” he concluded.

The US last week asked Israel for clarifications about the raids the IDF conducted at the offices of the six PA organizations.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters the US is concerned about the Israeli raids and has asked the Israeli government for more information about the basis for the decision.

“Our Israeli partners have assured us that more information will be forthcoming regarding the basis for their actions. We of course have assured them that we will review that information on a timely basis and very carefully," he stated, adding the US told Israel that any new information they provide regarding the basis for today’s actions would be reviewed “carefully, thoroughly and immediately."