The Israeli government’s designation of certain groups as “terrorist organizations” on Thursday prompted a diplomatic backlash and censure from the United Nations, the European Union, and the United States.
“Despite pledges to evaluate the claims to establish if monies have been diverted, Israeli authorities have not provided persuasive evidence to UN agencies or NGO partners working in the occupied Palestinian territory to substantiate these designations,” the UN stated.
In addition, “the breadth of the Israeli Anti-Terrorism Law of 2016 and its impact on the presumption of innocence raise grave concerns under international law,” the report states. UN human rights experts deemed the Israeli categorization of the NGOs as terrorist organizations “disturbing” at the time.
A declaration ascribed to human rights experts under the aegis of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) stated, “Israel’s worrying classification of these organizations as ‘terrorist organizations’ has not been accompanied by any public concrete and convincing evidence.”
The Office of the European Union Representative in Palestine announced that the charges that Israel-sealed Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) misappropriated union funds are unsubstantiated and that the European Union will continue to sponsor Palestinian NGOs. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are among the human rights organizations that have criticized Israel.
According to witnesses, the Israeli army raided and ordered the closure of seven Palestinian non-governmental organizations in the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Al-Bireh.