Israel’s Secret File On NGO Terror Labeling Lacks Evidence, New Report Says

A secret Israeli dossier on the six Palestinian NGOs it has designated as terrorist groups does not substantiate the charge, according to three journalists who published a report on the matter on +972, The Intercept and Local Call.

The journalists, Yuval Abraham, Oren Ziv and Meron Rapoport, said that the 74-page dossier compiled by Israel’s secret service (Shin Bet), was sent to European countries and the European Union in May. They explained that it focused heavily on the testimony of two Palestinian accountants, Abdat and Amro Hamuda.

Both men had worked for the banned Palestinian NGO Health Works Committees and had been fired for alleged financial negligence, journalists said. The HWC was not one of the six NGOs that Defense Minister Benny Gantz labeled terrorist organizations last month. Those six organizations are Al-Haq, AAddameer, the Bisan Center, the Defense of Children International-Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Labor Committees and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees.

The Ministry of Defense denounces that these six NGOs “constitute a network of organizations [that are] undercover active on the international front on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. “

Israel, the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia and Japan have designated the PFLP as a terrorist organization.

MEMBERS of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) point their weapons at an effigy representing US President Donald Trump while riding in a truck during a protest in Gaza City. (credit: REUTERS)

The ministry alleged that the six NGOs listed above were controlled by the senior leadership of the PFLP. This meant, the ministry charged, that NGOs “serve as a central source for financing the organization’s activity in general and take a significant role in building the organization’s strength and the growth of the terrorist organization.” These funds, which include large donations from the EU, were delivered to the PFLP through forgery and deception, the ministry charged.

THE DEFENSE Ministry has not published any data to support their charges. Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told The Jerusalem Post in an interview this week that neither his government nor the European Union had received any proof that the six NGOs were involved in terrorism. This would have included Israel’s May report and the brief report it received in the wake of that designation, the latter of which reflects what the Defense Ministry sent to the media.

In a statement issued last week, the EU also referred to the May report when it stated that “past allegations of misuse of EU funds in relation to certain Palestinians [Civil Society Organizations] CSO partners have not been substantiated. “

The article published on Thursday by the three journalists focused on a May Shin Bet document that had been similarly distributed to the EU and rejected. It has also been sent to members of Congress, journalists said.

“The value of the Shin Bet evidence” in that May report “seems very meager, especially considering that the accountants never worked for the six organizations they testified about and were fired from the Health Work Committees because of to suspicions of financial negligence, “the journalists said, adding that at no time was evidence provided to show that the funds were used for violent activities against Israel.

In some cases, evidence was even omitted to make it appear that funds sent to PLPF humanitarian activity had been earmarked for terrorism, journalists said.

“When asked how he came to understand that” the money came to PFLP activities, “Abdat replied that” he saw receipts that were used for various PFLP activities, such as dabke [a traditional Palestinian dance] courses held in Ramallah, Bethlehem and Jerusalem “. Only the first part of this sentence was presented to the Europeans, while the second part – of which it is understood that the receipts refer to a dance class – was omitted from the dossier” the article read at +972.

“In fact, in the hundreds of pages of interrogation summaries, there is only one reference to military activities. According to the summary of his interrogation on April 8, Abdat stated that there is a PFLP committee that decides how to divide the funds between military activities. and organizations “, explained the article +972. But no further information was released about those activities, nor was evidence shown to support that claim, the journalists wrote.

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