Israel brands Palestinian student group as ‘terrorist’
Palestinian officials on Thursday denounced a decision by Israel to brand the student branch of the left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) as a "terrorist" organisation.
Israel, the United States and the European Union consider the PFLP as a terrorist organisation.
Palestinian social development minister Ahmed Majdalani said on Wednesday that the designation was "dangerous" and stressed the student branch of the PFLP was an "unarmed" body.
Majdalani also voiced concern the Israeli move could lead to a crackdown on young Palestinian activists.
Israeli General Tamir Yadai said in a statement that the army now considers the PFLP's student branch as an "illegal and terrorist" entity.
Yadai, who heads the Israeli army's Central Command in the occupied West Bank, claimed that the branch had been for years behind "destructive acts that led to the deaths of many Israeli citizens".
He accused the PFLP of "recruiting young men to commit acts of terrorism".
According to PFLP official Ahmad al-Tanani, Israeli authorities had arrested more than 60 Palestinian students since the beginning of the year.
The PFLP is a Marxist-Leninist group which carried out several plane hijackings in the 1970s to highlight the Palestinian cause.