UN concerned by Israel labelling Palestinian groups terror organisations

The latest steps taken by the Israeli government is one of many to oppress the Palestinians' rights and livelihoods.

RAMALLAH – The United Nations (UN) said Friday it is worried about Israel declaring six Palestinian rights groups terror organisations, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.

The UN Human Rights Office in the occupied Palestinian territory said in a statement that counter-terrorism legislation must not be used to constrain legitimate human rights and humanitarian work.

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“The designation decisions published by Israel’s National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing list extremely vague or irrelevant reasons, including entirely peaceful and legitimate activities such as the provision of legal aid and the promotion of steps against Israel in the international arena,” it said.

“The UN Human Rights Office calls on Israel to fully respect the rights to freedom of association and expression, without any interference or harassment against the organisations or their staff,” it added.

In a separate statement, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said the move was another link in the chain of undermining the right to civil and human rights work in Palestinian territories.

The Geneva-based rights organisation added that “the classification aims to prevent the documentation of Israeli violations and support their victims amid an absence of international response to that.”

The group urged the international community to pressure Israeli authorities to limit their policies in subduing critical voices of their practices and violations in Palestinian territories.

Earlier, AA reported that Israel on Friday designated six Palestinian human rights organisations as “terrorist organisations” and accused them of links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a group banned by the Israeli military.

According to the daily Jerusalem Post, the Israeli Justice Ministry outlawed six Palestinian organisations, including the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights, Al-Haq, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defence for Children Palestine, Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees.

These organisations reportedly were declared illegal and accused of being extensions of the PFLP, which is described as a terrorist organization by thesIsraeli government, it said, adding that the decision was taken under the anti-terror law.

The institutions are considered to have a wide influence in the field of civil society in the occupied West Bank and the blockaded Gaza Strip.