Nine European nations to keep links to six Palestinian NGOs banned by Israel

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Nine European nations including Germany and France said Tuesday they will maintain cooperation with six Palestinian human rights organizations branded “terrorist” by Israel.

The foreign ministries of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden said Israeli accusations that the NGOs were linked to the left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) had been “treated with the utmost seriousness.”

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“No substantial information was received from Israel that would justify reviewing our policy towards the six Palestinian NGOs on the basis of the Israeli decision to designate these NGOs as ‘terrorist organizations’,” in October 2021, the ministries said in a joint statement.

“Should evidence be made available to the contrary, we would act accordingly. In the absence of such evidence, we will continue our cooperation and strong support for the civil society in the OPT (occupied Palestinian Territories).”

“A free and strong civil society is indispensable for promoting democratic values and for the two-state solution,” for Israel and the Palestinians, the statement said.

Israel’s move against the human and prisoner rights groups was strongly criticized by the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations.

The PFLP is a hardline faction that does not recognize the state of Israel.

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