A 2019 Gaza rally marking the anniversary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's founding. (AP/Hatem Moussa) A 2019 Gaza rally marking the anniversary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's founding. (AP/Hatem Moussa)
PFLP

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While leaders of the NGOs claim they have no ties to terror, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hasn’t denied any of the associations.

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

Five European members of the UN Security Council rapped Israel for designating six Palestinian NGOs as terror organizations.

The Security Council discussed the issue on Monday but took no action. However, following the meeting, France, Ireland, Norway, Estonia and Albania signed a joint letter expressing their concern. Albania will take its place on the 15-seat council in January. Britain, a permanent member of the Security Council, did not sign on.

“These listings are a matter of serious concern, as they have far-reaching consequences for the organizations in political, legal and financial terms,” the letter said.

“A thriving civil society and respect for fundamental freedoms are cornerstones of open democracies. Civil society is an essential contributor to good governance, human rights, international law, democratic values and sustainable development across the world, including in Israel and Palestine.”

The letter said the Europeans would “study carefully” any evidence provided by Israel.

Israel’s Defense Ministry blacklisted six Palestinian non-governmental organizations in October over their associations with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The designation paves the way for Israel to seize their assets and criminalize their funding.

The most prominent of the six NGOs are Al-Haq, which spearheads legal campaigns and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activities against Israel, and Addameer, which advocates for Palestinian prisoners. Both are based in Ramallah.

The other four designated NGOs are Defense for Children-International, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees and the Bisan Research and Advocacy Center.

The PFLP is designated as a “terror organization” by Israel, the U.S., the European Union and Canada. Its most notable attacks include the 1976 Entebbe hijacking, the 2001 assassination of tourism minister Rehavam Zeevi and the 2014 Har Nof synagogue massacre.

The terror group’s best-known personality is Leila Khaled, who was involved in two airline hijackings in 1969 and 1970. Khaled, now 77, was recently in the news when Zoom pulled the plug on her controversial San Francisco State University webinar in April.

According to NGO-Monitor, a Defense for Children-International coordinator by the name of Hashem Abu Maria was lauded by the PFLP as one of its leaders after being killed in a clash with the IDF in 2014. Samer Arbid, the financial director of the Agricultural Work Committee, was accused of leading the terror cell that killed Rina Shnerb in a roadside bomb in 2019. Several current and former board members of Addameer have close ties to the terror group.

While leaders of the NGOs say they have no ties to terror, the PFLP hasn’t denied any of the associations.