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US to Engage Israel over Designation of Palestinian Civil Society Groups as Terrorists

US to Engage Israel over Designation of Palestinian Civil Society Groups as Terrorists

Saturday, 23 October, 2021 - 05:00
US State Department spokesman Ned Price speaks during a news briefing at the department in Washington, US, February 9, 2021. Olivier Douliery/Pool via REUTERS

The US will engage Israel seeking more information about the designation of six Palestinian civil society groups as terrorist organizations, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Friday.


Price said Washington was not given advance warning of the designation, a move that drew criticism from the United Nations and human rights watchdogs.


"We will be engaging our Israeli partners for more information regarding the basis for the designation," Price said on a regular briefing call.


Earlier on Friday, Israel designated six Palestinian civil society groups as terrorist organizations and accused them of funneling donor aid to militants.


The designations authorize Israeli authorities to close the groups’ offices, seize their assets and arrest their staff in the occupied West Bank, watchdogs Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said in a joint statement condemning the move.


Israel’s defense ministry said the six Palestinian groups had ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP), a left-wing faction with an armed wing that has carried out deadly attacks against Israelis.


Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war. Palestinians seek the territories for a future state.


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