A group of U.S. lawmakers urged the federal government to reject Israelian labeling of six Palestinian human rights organizations as terrorist groups. In the Monday letter addressed to the United States Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Avril Haines and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, twenty-one Democratic Congress members criticized the absence of available evidence supporting the allegations from Israel against the human rights organizations.
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The letter reads that the United States should regularly speak out against efforts by all nations trying to weaken the necessary work of humanitarian organizations and civil society. In addition, the counter-terrorism bill must not be executed for legal humanitarian and human rights activities. Likewise, brutal tactics like banning organizations must not be used to overwhelm or deny the right to freedom of association, limit the peaceful activities of civil society, or suppress or quash political dissent.
Israeli Blacklisted Palestinian Civil Society Organizations
In October 2021, the Israeli government banned the six leading Palestinian civil society and human rights organizations over suspected links to the PFLP (the Popular front for the Liberation of Palestine). Moreover, the defense ministry of Israel’s order practically blacklisted the Union of Agricultural Work Committees and Addameer (UAWC), the Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children International-Palestine, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, Al-Haq and Addameer.
The US must condemn any effort, anywhere to undermine life-saving humanitarian work.
That’s why I led 21 colleagues in a letter to the @StateDept regarding Israel’s criminalization of 6 Palestinian human rights orgs supporting low-income folks, women & girls, clean water & more. pic.twitter.com/e7d9MOjjxL
— Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (@RepPressley) July 18, 2022
So, the Democratic lawmakers said that these human rights groups directly work with civil society activists, Palestinian children, girls, women, prisoners, and low-income families to provide direct services and monitor human rights abuses by Israeli officials. Furthermore, the letter asked for a briefing from the Biden government officials with the co-signers to discuss the alleged evidence that Israel said it provided to the U.S. administration to justify outlawing of the groups.