By Elad Benari (A7) US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price on Monday insisted that the US was not provided with advance notice of Israel’s plans to declare six Palestinian Arab organizations as terrorist organizations.
“It is, to the best of our knowledge, accurate that we did not receive a specific heads up about any forthcoming designations,” he said.
This past Friday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz designated six groups identified with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) as terrorist organizations: Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC), ADDAMEER – Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Bisan Center for Research and Development, Al-Haq Organization, Defense for Children International–Palestine (DCI-P), and the Union Of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC).
Price later said the US was not notified in advance of Israel’s decision and would seek clarifications from Israel on the basis for this decision.
“We will be engaging our Israeli partners for more information regarding the basis for the designation,” he told reporters in a briefing.
“Israel didn’t give us prior warning about this designation,” he added.
Israeli Defense officials responded to the statement and said that US administration officials were given information about the decision beforehand and that the relevant intelligence was shared with the US by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet).
On Sunday, Kan 11 News reported that several European Union (EU) countries are “outraged” at the Israeli decision to designate the six organizations.
Israeli officials say that they did transfer intelligence materials to some EU countries in the past, but as mentioned, the European anger is focused on the fact that they did not receive advance warning of the move.
In light of the European anger, a joint appeal to the Israeli Foreign Ministry for clarification is expected from several EU countries that financially support these organizations.