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Finnish Christian group cuts ties with Palestinian Arab organization blacklisted by Israel

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(Arutz Sheva) Felm, a Finnish Christian missionary group, has cut ties with a Palestinian Arab group which Israel recently labelled a terrorist organization, the charity’s executive director said Friday, according to Reuters.

Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) is one of six Palestinian Arab groups which Defense Minister Benny Gantz recently designated as terrorist organizations due to their ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization.

Felm executive director Rolf Steffansson said on Friday his organization had seen no evidence its funding had been misused.

“We have actively monitored the use of the money and it has been used for work advancing children’s rights,” Steffansson, whose organization provided DCIP with 30,000 euros annually from 2015 to 2021, told Reuters.

However, he added, the Israeli designation had made it impossible to maintain ties with the group.

“It could have impacted the work we do in 30 countries through banking services for example,” said Steffansson.

Gantz’s decision to designate the six groups has come under fire. US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said after the announcement that the US was not notified in advance of Israel’s decision and would seek clarifications from Israel on the basis for this decision.

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).

The United Nations human rights commissioner Michelle Bachelet condemned the move, as did the European Union.

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