IDF raid on Palestinian NGO offices unacceptable - Borrell

Israel has charged that the NGOs are affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which the US and the EU have designed as a terrorist organization.

The lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building in Langley, Virginia, US (photo credit: LARRY DOWNING/REUTERS)
The lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building in Langley, Virginia, US
(photo credit: LARRY DOWNING/REUTERS)

The European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell issued a stinging condemnation against Israel for shutting the offices of seven Palestinian non-governmental groups it believes are terror affiliates, explaining there is no evidence for such a charge.

"These actions are not acceptable," Borrell said on Monday.

He spoke after the British newspaper The Guardian said it had obtained a classified report from the United States' Central Intelligence Agency which said that no evidence had been found to back up Israel's claims that the NGOs are terror affiliates.

Israel's crackdown on alleged Palestinian 'terror fronts'

In October Israel designed Al-Haq, Addameer, the Bisan Center, Defense for Children International-Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees. This followed a terror declaration In January 2020 against the  Union of Health Work Committees.

Israel has charged that the NGOs are affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which the United States and the European Union has designed as a terrorist organization.

 European Union Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell speaks on the tensions between the neighbouring Western Balkan nations in Brussels, Belgium, August 18, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/Johanna Geron) European Union Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell speaks on the tensions between the neighbouring Western Balkan nations in Brussels, Belgium, August 18, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/Johanna Geron)

Both the EU and the US have focused their comments and concerns on the six NGOs, particularly after the IDF raided their offices in the Ramallah area on Thursday morning and locked their doors.

Last week State Department spokesman Ned Price indicated to reporters that the information about the groups given to the US has supported the conclusion that they are terror groups, but said that Israeli had promised to provide it with additional information.

Borrell on Monday said that 'no substantial information was received from Israel that would justify reviewing our policy towards the six Palestinian civil society organizations on the basis of the Israeli decision to designate these NGOs as ‘terrorist organizations.’ 

"It is crucial to ensure that anti-terrorism legislation does not lead to undermining civil society and its valuable work and contributions to building fairer and more peaceful societies.

"The EU supports the call by the UN agencies on Israel to refrain from any action that would prevent these organizations," Borrell said.