Sources allege that while the CIA was unable to locate any proof to back up Israel’s claims about some Palestinian NGOs, the US did not respond to this conclusion.
Six main Palestinian NGOs were designated as “terrorist groups” by Israel, according to a classified CIA assessment, but the agency was unable to discover any supporting documentation.
The Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq, Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children International-Palestine, Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and Union of Palestinian Women Committees were all designated as terrorist organizations by Israel in October.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a leftist political party with a paramilitary wing, was allegedly represented by the organizations, according to Israel. Israel informed the US of the categorization earlier this year, but the CIA’s analysis of the information yielded no evidence to back up the allegation, according to two officials with knowledge of the matter.
One source claimed that the CIA assessment “doesn’t state that the groups are guilty of anything.” According to a second source, the evaluation was highly classified. Many countries, including Israel’s friends, have rejected the label of terror as unjustified.
The US has not labeled the groups as terrorist organizations, but it has also not openly challenged or questioned them.
Israel has persisted in attempting to block the six NGOs from carrying out their advocacy activity after announcing the designation. The West Bank offices of all six organizations were searched by the Israeli military on Thursday. Property was seized, office doors were sealed, and official notices were posted proclaiming the groups to be unlawful.
The top-secret analysis supports the conclusions reached by European nations who were also provided dossiers including Israeli proof. In a joint statement released last month, nine European Union members stated that Israel had not provided any meaningful material that would have allowed for a reassessment of their approach to the six Palestinian NGOs.
Political experts claim that the classification was made in part to stop European governments from sponsoring Palestinian NGOs, although this strategy hasn’t worked. Several US lawmakers have publicly challenged Israel’s Palestinian NGOs’ classification as terror groups.
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and 21 other Democrats urged the US authorities to oppose the Israeli government in a letter written to Antony Blinken, the secretary of state, and Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence, last month.
“A purported lack of evidence to back this judgment raises fears that it may be a fundamentally oppressive move, aiming to punish and suppress leading and crucial Palestinian human rights groups,” the Legislators said. Beyond the efforts made publicly by parliamentarians to resolve the problem, the Israeli designation has faced private objections.
A comparable dossier and briefing were given to members of Congress by an Israeli delegation the previous year. The organizations are allegedly “cover institutions” for the PFLP, according to the report. However, a congressional source claimed that there was shock during the briefing by the poor quality of the evidence in the dossier.
The Florida Democratic congressman Ted Deutch, who has called himself “a strong admirer of Israel,” was one of the doubters. The source claimed that after obtaining the report, Deutch informed the Israeli delegation that there wasn’t enough support for it.