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Sabra Express | NGO No Go

Nine European Nations Condemn IDF’s Closure of Palestinian NGO Offices

Tovah Lazaroff, Jerusalem Post, August 20th 2022


Recap:

After classifying seven Palestinian Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) as terrorist groups, Israel faces pressure to increase transparency into its terrorist designation process.


The Context:

· An NGO is a nonprofit organization that operates independently of any government. NGOs are usually immune when undertaking advocacy for political issues or criticizing the government.

· The IDF raided seven Palestinian NGOs last week, demanding their immediate closure. The raid occurred in Area A of the West Bank, which is under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

· Israel claimed “ironclad” intelligence that tied the NGOs to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a group that has carried out deadly attacks against Israel and is labeled a terror organization by both the US and Israel [1]. Israel claims the NGOs operate under the guise of performing humanitarian activities but actually help recruit operatives and raise funds for the PFLP [2]. Israeli authorities have previously charged the PFLP for siphoning millions from NGOs to fund its terrorist activities [3].

· Nine European nations and 45 Israeli rights groups condemned the raid, saying the allegations were baseless, demanding additional evidence [4]. Many of the shuttered NGO’s receive considerable funding from EU member states and the United Nations [5].


Conversation Points:

· Should a country have a right to criticize another country’s internal affairs?

· Should Israel be more forthcoming with its evidence?

· Was the terror designation intended to dry up European funding to Palestinian NGOs?

· Are Palestinian NGOs unfairly targeted because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?


Notes:

1. Israel shutters Palestinian rights groups, drawing diplomatic backlash, Miriam Berger, Washington Post, August 18, 2022.

2. Israel designates three PFLP-affiliated groups as terrorist organizations, Israel Defense, August 18th, 2022

3. Israeli rights groups condemn ‘baseless’ terror listing of Palestinian advocacy orgs, Times of Israel, 22 August 2022

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid.


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