Minister condemns terror linked NGO rallies in NYC, London and Montreal

Strategic Affairs Minister Orit Farkash Hacohen lamented that protests organized by the Samidoun organization with strong ties to banned terror group PFLP will take place around the world.

MEMBERS OF the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) aim their weapons at an effigy depicting US President Donald Trump as they ride a truck during a protest in Gaza City. (photo credit: REUTERS)
MEMBERS OF the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) aim their weapons at an effigy depicting US President Donald Trump as they ride a truck during a protest in Gaza City.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Strategic Affairs Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen has issued strong criticism of a series of pro-Palestinian protests which are being staged in several prominent cities in Europe and North America by the Samidoun organization which has strong ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group.
The Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, based in Canada, will be holding “Day Of Resistance In Defense Of Palestine” rallies between August 7 and 9 in New York, London, Vancouver, Manchester, Copenhagen, and Gothenburg, among other cities.
Samidoun has stated that the protests are being staged to mark the 48th anniversary of the death of Ghassan Kanafani, a leading figure in the PFLP who was killed by the Mossad following his organization’s involvement in the Lod Airport Massacre.
The organization’s Facebook account lists the various rallies, including the New York event where it says the group will be “taking to the streets again to not only reject the criminal annexation plan, but against the entirety of the Zionist colonial project from the river to the sea.”
Farkash-Hacohen has condemned the rallies due to Samidoun’s strong links to the PFLP and its personnel, including Samidoun activists who are also PFLP members, some of whom have been jailed in Israel for terror offenses.
“It is inconceivable that a terrorist group like the PFLP is set to receive a warm welcome in major cities around the world under the pretense of a civil organization,” said the minister.
The Strategic Affairs Ministry has made “foreign officials” aware of the nature of the rallies and the Samidoun organization, and has also liaised with the Foreign Affairs Ministry which has informed Israeli embassies in relevant cities of the events.
Samidoun has held numerous protests and rallies of late focusing on possible Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank, as well as tying the Palestinian cause to racial justice following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.
In a recent protest held by Samidoun in Brooklyn on July 3, marchers equated the White Supremacist Ku Klux Klan organization with the New York Police Department and the Israeli army, holding aloft a banner with the slogan “NYPD=KKK=IDF: One Struggle for Liberation.”
The Strategic Affairs Ministry also highlighted Samidoun’s ties to the PFLP terror group, noting that Khaled Barakat, who the ministry says is a PFLP central committee member, hosted a Samidoun live webinar in July on “Palestine and the Arab and International Boycott Movement.”
Barakat, who is married to Samidoun’s International Coordinator, Charlotte Kates, also heads a campaign for the release from Israeli prison of PFLP General Secretary Ahmad Sa’adat, who was convicted by an Israeli military court of responsibility for terror attacks, including the assassination of Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Ze’evi.
In May this year, the Samidoun Palestinian branch together with several other groups hosted another video conference event entitled “The Palestinian National Movement in Occupied Jerusalem and Ways to Resist,” which featured as one of its speakers Abed al-Latif Ayat.
According to the ministry, Ayat was a member of the political bureau of the PFLP until at least 2015, and is currently banned by the interior ministry from leaving the country due to his ties to the terror group.
Samidoun has also hosted PFLP terrorist Leila Khaled on a recent webinar.
The ministry states that two Samidoun activists in Europe, Mustapha Awad and Mohammed Khatib, are both PFLP members, and that Awad trained with Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2015, and transferred funds from Lebanon and Syria to Khaled Barkat in Belgium on at least two occasions between 2016 and 2017.
After being arrested in July 2018 by Israeli authorities, Awad was sentenced to 12 months in prison for membership in a terrorist organization, prohibited military training, and use of property for terrorist activities