US says 'concerned' by Israeli closure of Palestinian NGOs

A picture shows the closed door of the Palestinian NGO Defence for Children International after it was raided by Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Ramallah on August 18, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
WASHINGTON, United States — Washington said Thursday it was "concerned" by the Israeli government's forced closure of several Palestinian NGOs operating in the occupied West Bank.اضافة اعلان

The Israeli occupation military announced earlier that it had conducted overnight raids of seven organizations in Ramallah, the West Bank city where the Palestinian Authority's headquarters are located.

Israel labeled six Palestinian organizations last October as terrorist organizations for their alleged links to the leftist militant group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). However, Israeli officials have not publicly shared any evidence of the links.

The NGOs have denied any links to the PFLP, which many western nations have designated terrorist groups.

"We are concerned about the Israeli security forces closure of the six offices of the Palestinian NGOs in and around Ramallah today," said US State Department spokesman Ned Price at a press briefing.

"We have not changed our position or approach to these organizations," said Price, though he noted that Washington does not fund any of them.

"We have seen nothing in recent months to change (our position)," he added.

According to Price, US officials have reached out to their Israeli counterparts "at the senior level" to obtain additional information, which Israel has promised to provide.

The seventh organization raided by Israel on Thursday, the Union of Health Work Committees, was banned by Israel from working in the West Bank in 2020.

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