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Monday November 29, 2021

Palestinian rights groups see muzzle in Israel’s terror tag

By AFP
October 24, 2021
Palestinian rights groups see muzzle in Israel’s terror tag

RAMALLAH, West Bank: Activists said on Saturday they hope an international backlash will help reverse Israel’s designation of six Palestinian human right groups as terrorist organisations, a label that effectively outlaws them.

Two of the six groups said they would not be forced underground despite the uncertainty of their new status, which would allow Israel to raid the groups’ offices, seize assets, arrest employees and criminalize funding and expressions of support. Activists said they seek to challenge the decision by Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz.

Israel’s terror label for the six groups, including some that receive European funding, appears to have caught the US and Europe off-guard.

It could force them to pick a side, at a time when efforts efforts to negotiate the terms of a Palestinian state alongside Israel are hopelessly bogged down. For years, the US and the EU have largely focused on conflict management, including strengthening Palestinian civil society, while not exerting overt pressure on Israel to halt its ongoing settlement enterprise on occupied lands the Palestinians seek for their state.