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Foreign Ministry baffled as US denies ‘heads-up’ on Palestinian NGO designations

CM 26/10/2021


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The Israeli Foreign Ministry continued to insist it informed the US prior to the designation of six Palestinian NGOs as terror organizations last week after US State Department Spokesperson said otherwise.
Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General for Strategic Affairs Joshua Zarka spoke with an official in the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism ahead of the move. The Israeli Foreign Ministry would not name the person who Zarka updated, but according to the State Department’s website, the senior official in that bureau is Acting Coordinator for Counterterrorism John T. Godfrey.
“I certainly updated the US about our intentions,” Zarka told Army Radio on Monday. “Maybe they think the update should have been more in-depth; that’s legitimate.”
Zarka said the Foreign Ministry wants “to repair this so such a case does not happen again.
“Relations with the Americans are important, and we don’t want them to feel like they are not our partners,” he added.
Price said the evening before, during a daily press briefing: “We are currently engaging our Israeli partners for more information regarding the basis for these designations.”
“It is, to the best of our knowledge, accurate that we did not receive a specific heads-up about any forthcoming designations,” he added, days after multiple Israeli government sources said the opposite.
A senior Foreign Ministry source said he was “baffled” by Price’s remarks because Zarka did inform the State Department of the plans in advance. The source speculated that Zarka’s interlocutor may not have understood the gravity of the decision and did not pass on the information.
The Shin Bet and Foreign Ministry plan to send a delegation to Washington to present the administration with the information that led to the designation of the six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist groups, due to their ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
“We look forward to hearing more details from this delegation,” said Price. “I know that we will be receiving that delegation and hearing what they have to say.”

 Palestinian militants of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) burn representations of an Israeli flag and a US flag during a protest against Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Gaza City December 7, 2017. (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMED SALEM) Palestinian militants of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) burn representations of an Israeli flag and a US flag during a protest against Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Gaza City December 7, 2017. (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMED SALEM)

The Justice and Defense Ministries on Friday declared that several leading Palestinian NGOs were arms of the PFLP terrorist organization.
The ministries issued documents classifying Addameer, Al Haq, Bisan Center, Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P), Union Of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC), as branches of the PFLP, joining other NGOs who had previously also been designated as terrorist affiliates.
Israeli officials say they have intelligence indicating an “unambiguous and direct” connection between the NGOs and the PFLP. They argue that the self-proclaimed civil society organizations were used to launder funds for the PFLP’s terror activities, as well as recruit new members for the terrorist organization.
The PFLP, a designated terrorist organization in Israel, the US, the EU, Canada, Australia and Japan, was behind a series of hijackings in the 1960s and suicide bombings in the Second Intifada.
In 2019, the PFLP planted the bomb that killed 17-year-old Rina Shnerb and injured her relatives. Several UAWC employees were arrested for leading and planning the attack.
The US State Department criticized the announcement on Friday in the most explicit admonition from the Biden administration since the new Israeli government was formed in June.
“We believe respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, and a strong civil society are critically important for responsible and responsive governance,” said State Department spokesperson Ned Price.
 Israel had shared its concerns with European countries that fund the NGOs, including the EU, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium, Sweden and Spain, in May.
Left-wing parties in Israel’s governing coalition also expressed discomfort with the way the designations were announced, with Labor leader Merav Michaeli and Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz asking to be told in advance about controversial decisions. Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party responded that they “suggest that Merav Michaeli, who doesn’t know the details, not get in the way of the war on terror.”
Price also addressed the coup in Sudan on Sunday, and the way it could affect its ties with Israel.
“The many partners and allies we have spoken with have expressed a similar degree of alarm, concern, and condemnation of what we’ve seen take place in Khartoum in recent hours,” said Price. “I think the normalization effort between Israel and Sudan is something that will have to be evaluated as we and as, of course, Israel watches very closely what happens in the coming hours and the coming days. I wouldn’t want to weigh into that just yet.”

Source: Jerusalem Post

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The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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