IDF Officially Blacklists Six Palestinian Groups

View of Beit Lakhia in the Gaza Strip from the fence bordering with the southern Israeli town of Netiv Ha’asara. (Doron Horowitz/Flash90)

The IDF officially designates six Palestinian rights groups as “unauthorized organizations,” the military legal equivalent of terrorist organizations, following a decision by Defense Minister Benny Gantz last month, despite international criticism against the move.

Israel maintains that the six Palestinian organizations — Al-Haq, Addameer, Defense for Children International-Palestine, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees — serve as fronts for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group.

Last month, Gantz declared the groups terrorist organizations, a designation with comparatively little immediate impact, as the groups operate within the Palestinian region and thus officially outside of Israel’s jurisdiction.

However, the head of the IDF Central Command, who has formal legal authority over Area C in Yehudah and Shomron, has also now outlawed the groups “after he was presented with copious, varied and reliable information that indicates that these organizations represented a wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group,” the IDF said.

With this official designation, the IDF now has the power, among other things, to shutter the organization’s offices and arrest its members.