European UNSC members pressure Israel for answers on NGO terror labeling

European members of the United Nations Security Council pressured Israel to respond to its decision to designate six Palestinian non-governmental groups as terrorist entities.

“These listings are of great concern as they have far-reaching consequences for organizations in political, legal and financial terms,” ​​the European countries said after the UN Security Council held a closed-door meeting on the affair in New York on Monday.

The signatories to the statement were UNSC members Estonia, France, Ireland and Norway, as well as Albania, which will become a UNSC member in January.

“We will speak with the Israeli authorities to obtain more information based on these designations, which we will study carefully,” the five European countries said. The UK, which is also a member of the UNSC, did not sign the statement.

European countries, particularly Ireland, have requested information from Israel to support their charges against the six NGOs including: Al-Haq, Addameer, the Bisan Center, Defense for Children International-Palestine, the Union for Labor Committees Agricultural and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees. Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told The Jerusalem Post last week that Israel had not provided him credible information to back up his claim. Ireland provides funding for two of the NGOs, Al-Haq and Addameer.

On Monday, Ireland’s ambassador to the UN, Geraldine Byrne Nason, repeated that statement to reporters in New York. “This is a matter of great concern to us. We were not alerted to this,” he said.

“We have not seen any credible evidence of Palestinian NGO ties to terrorist organizations. We have asked to see what evidence there is,” Nason said.

“There are Irish NGOs associated with some of the Palestinian NGOs,” Nason explained. “We are always watching where our support is going, so we would like to better understand what is happening here,” he added.

Simon Coveney, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defense of Ireland (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM / THE JERUSALEM POST)

After the meeting, the Palestinian Authority ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said that the UNSC members did not “buy the history of the occupying authority and created fear among themselves by labeling the six NGOs as terrorist organizations. They are not there. buying the evidence from Israel. ” , which we welcome. “

The UNSC did not issue any statement regarding Israel’s designation of the NGOs as terrorist entities. Israel has not released evidence to support its claims that these groups had diverted funds from humanitarian initiatives to terrorist activities.

An Israeli delegation traveled to Washington last week to provide the United States with information to support that claim.

On Monday, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said the Biden administration had “a constructive discussion with an Israeli delegation that was visiting last week. The delegation provided an oral report on the information they had on certain groups. They also provided written materials. ” We intend, and we are, together with our agency-wide partners, to take a very close look at the information that was provided to us in writing, to cross-reference that information with what we may have on our own properties, and from of that, we will form an informed judgment, “added Price.

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