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IDF blacklists 6 Palestinian rights groups, enabling Israel to act against them

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

The Israel Defense Forces officially designates six Palestinian rights groups as “unauthorized organizations,” the military legal equivalent of terrorist organizations, following a similar 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, something that the groups have repeatedly denied and that has been questioned by their European and international funders.

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

Today, however, the head of the IDF Central Command, who has formal legal authority over the West Bank, 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 military says.

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

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