UN urges international community to fund Palestinian groups designated as 'terrorist' by Israel
United Nations human rights experts urged the international community to resume funding to six Palestinian NGOs designated by Israel as terrorist organisations last year.
Israel labelled six Palestinian civil society groups as terrorist organisations, despite not substantiating the claims.
This included Addameer, a detainees' rights organisation, Defense for Children International – Palestine, legal NGO Al-Haq, the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees and the Bisan Center for Research and Development.
"Israel has had six months to substantiate its accusations and it has failed to deliver," the experts said in a statement.
"We call on the funding governments and international organisations to swiftly conclude that Israel has not established its allegations and to announce that they will continue to financially and politically support these organisations and the communities and groups they serve."
The experts slammed the designation for not being "accompanied by any public concrete and credible evidence", said the human rights experts.
"We note that the information presented by Israel has also failed to convince a number of governments and international organisations that have traditionally provided funding for the indispensable work of these six organisations."
The lack of funding of the NGOs following the designation has hindered Palestinian civil society, causing concerns for the UN experts.
"We are deeply disturbed by Israel's apparent misuse of anti-terrorism legislation to attack some of the leading civil society organisations in Palestine. Such misuse must be rejected and countered," the experts urged.
"The United Nations has been very clear that the drafting and application of anti-terrorism laws have to be rigorously consistent with international law and human rights protections, including the principles of legal certainty, necessity, proportionality, the rule of law and non-discrimination."