EU: no proof banned Palestinian groups are linked to terror
Israel has provided no proof that six banned Palestinian organisations are linked to terrorism, the EU's foreign minister has said.
Six Palestinian rights groups were designated as "terrorist organisations" by Israel in October, accused of links to the banned Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP).
Al-Haq, Addameer, Defence for Children International-Palestine, Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees were banned by Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz in October, sparking outrage globally.
EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said in an international donor meeting for the Palestinian Authority that Brussels had not received any convincing evidence from Israel about the "terrorism" designations, according to Haaretz.
The Ad Hoc Liaison Committee Meeting is a 15-member bloc that includes governments and other international organisations, overseeing funding for the Palestinian Authority.
Actors Mark Ruffalo, Tilda Swinton and author Naomi Klein are among a hundred artists who signed an open letter condemning Israel's decision to designate six Palestinian rights groups as terrorist organisations https://t.co/DUquFPZwhO— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) November 18, 2021
It met in Oslo this week and included European, Palestinian, and Israeli ministers.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh attended the meeting in the Norwegian capital highlighting Ramallah's urgent need for cash.
"Independent states could borrow money from the World Bank or print money or raise funds in the private market," he said, according to Haaretz. "We couldn’t do this since we’re not an independent state."
He also slammed Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's "three nos" - no to talks with the Palestinian Authority, no to talks with President Mahmoud Abbas, and no to a two-state solution.
This is in contrast to Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej's claims during the meeting that the Israeli government is still committed to a two-state solution.
"As long as it depends on Foreign Minister [Yair] Lapid and myself, the Israeli government will not take steps which will make it impossible to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, based on the 'two states for two peoples' formula," he said according to the Jerusalem Post.
Like his predecessor former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right-wing Premier Bennett is a firm opponent of Palestinian statehood.