Thomas-Greenfield Treads Line on Palestinian Rights Groups

YERUSHALAYIM -

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield has declared that Washington “support[s] Palestinian NGOs’ role monitoring human rights abuses wherever they occur,” according to The Times of Israel on Sunday.

Thomas-Greenfield’s statement comes in the wake of Israel’s decision in late October to designate as terrorist entities six Palestinian civil groups linked to the notorious Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

She did not mention the six groups in her statement.

During a visit to Ramallah last week, the U.S. envoy met with Palestinian Authority leaders and civilian groups, but reportedly did not meet with any of the six banned organizations.

While there, she “emphasized the importance of respecting human rights and avoiding actions that undermine the prospects of a two-state solution, such as settlement activity, evictions, incitement to violence, and payments to individuals imprisoned for terrorism,” a U.S. readout said.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas told her: “We do not accept in any way the classification of six Palestinian civil organizations as terrorist by the occupation authorities,” according to the official PA news outlet Wafa.

The Israeli ban caused a furor in the European Union, which has been providing funds to the groups in question.

On Thursday, European Union High Representative Josep Borrell declared that Israel had yet to furnish definitive proof that they were linked to the PFLP.

“We are asking for answers from the Israeli government, and we have not yet received convincing answers,” Borrell said in a closed-door meeting of international donors to the Palestinians in Oslo.