UN: Israel's outlawing of Palestinian groups unjustified

The country named six civil society groups as 'terrorist organisations'

Israel's naming of six leading Palestinian civil society groups as "terrorist organisations" is unjustified, the UN has said.

The country accused the groups of financing a leftist group called the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called the decision an attack on human rights defenders, freedoms of association, opinion and expression and on the right to public participation.

She called for the move to be immediately revoked.

Ms Bachelet said anti-terrorism legislation should not be applied to legitimate human rights and humanitarian aid activities.

"The organisations ... face far-reaching consequences as a result of this arbitrary decision, as do the people who fund them and work with them," she said.

"The crucial work they perform for thousands of Palestinians risks being halted or severely restricted.”

She said the decision would have "a chilling effect" on human rights defenders.

"Claiming rights before a UN or other international body is not an act of terrorism. Advocating the rights of women in the occupied Palestinian territory is not terrorism and providing legal aid to detained Palestinians is not terrorism," Ms Bachelet said.

She said no evidence has been presented to support the allegations against the six groups, nor had any public process been conducted to establish the accusations.

Updated: October 27th 2021, 5:08 AM