Abbas meets representatives of six Palestinian organisations declared 'terrorist' by Israel
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with representatives of the six human rights organisations that were recently slapped with a “terrorist” label by Israel on Monday, praising them for working to expose abuses committed by Israel in the occupied West Bank.
Last week, the Israeli defence ministry announced that it had effectively banned six major human rights and civil society organisations from operating in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, claiming they had links to the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Abbas discussed the Israeli ban with representatives of the six organisations at his office in Ramallah.
“The Israeli decision, which designated these Palestinian institutions as terrorists, is rejected and condemned,” President Abbas told the delegation, the Palestinian Authority's news agency WAFA reported.
“We all stand with these national institutions that do their duty to expose the crimes of the occupation and expose them to the world,” he added.
“There will be an official Palestinian action on the international level to confront this decision.”
Abbas added that Israel has no right to obstruct the work of the organisations, saying that they operated in accordance with Palestinian law,
He stressed the need for a concerted Palestinian effort to confront Israel's ban, while the representatives of the organisations said they will continue to work as normal despite it.
The military measure applies to Addameer, a detainees' rights organisation, Defense for Children of Palestine, the 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.
The move essentially makes the groups' work illegal and permits Israel to shut workplaces, take property and detain employees, all while banning financial or public backing for their operations, according to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Three of the groups issued statements on Friday and Saturday condemning the Israeli ban, which uses Israel’s domestic Anti-Terrorism Law of 2016 as justification.