Palestinian officials on Thursday denounced a decision by Israel to brand the student branch of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine as a terrorist organization.
Israel, the United States and the European Union consider the PFLP to be a terror group.
On Wednesday, Israel Defense Forces Gen. Tamir Yadai said in a statement that the military also now considers the PFLP’s student branch as an “illegal and terrorist” entity.
Yadai, who heads the IDF’s Central Command in the West Bank, said the branch had been for years behind “destructive acts that led to the deaths of many Israeli citizens.”
He accused the PFLP of “recruiting young men to commit acts of terrorism.”
Palestinian social development minister Ahmed Majdalani said the designation was “dangerous” and stressed the student branch of the PFLP was an “unarmed” body.
Majdalani also voiced concern the Israeli move could lead to a crackdown on young Palestinian activists.
According to PFLP official Ahmad al-Tanani, Israeli authorities had arrested more than 60 Palestinian students since the beginning of the year.
The PFLP is a fiercely anti-Israeli Marxist-Leninist group that pioneered plane hijackings in the 1970s. It does not recognize Israel and opposes talks with Israel.