Why Is the State Department Criticizing Israel’s Anti-Terror Crackdown?

Recently Israeli security personnel raided the offices of several non-governmental organizations because of their close ties to Palestinian terrorist groups—receiving widespread condemnation, and not just from the usual corners. The State Department spokesman Ned Price said that American senior officials were “concerned” about the raids and stated pointedly that “independent civil-society organizations in the West Bank and Israel must be able to continue their important work.” Price added that the U.S. would examine any information about these groups passed on by Israeli authorities, but it had so far not seen any evidence it considered damning. Melanie Phillips notes, however, that ample evidence that the NGOs in question serve as fronts for terrorists is readily available in the public domain:

Since 2007, [the Israel-based group] NGO Monitor has published numerous reports based on open sources that have documented the close connections between a number of NGOs and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Last year, NGO Monitor identified a network of thirteen such groups, including the seven identified by Israel, linked to the PFLP and funded by European or other governments.

Moreover, some countries whose governments have expressed outrage at Israel’s action have themselves identified such links. [An] investigation commissioned by the United States Agency of International Development (USAID) described [one such Palestinian group], the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, as being the PFLP’s agricultural arm.

In 2020, the Netherlands government admitted that part of a Dutch aid package was used to pay the salaries of two of this agricultural union’s employees charged with murdering Rina Shnerb, a seventeen-year-old Israeli who was killed in 2019 by a roadside bomb in the disputed territories, and it temporarily halted those aid payments.

But how can these governments maintain that they have seen no evidence to support Israel’s claim? What they actually mean is that they reject Israel’s evidence. This may be because the political and diplomatic parts of government often don’t know what the counterterrorism and security parts are discovering. . . . What’s more likely, however, is that such governments simply refuse to engage with any evidence that would undermine their own strategy against Israel.

Read more at JNS

More about: Europe and Israel, NGO, Palestinian terror, PFLP, US-Israel relations


As Hamas’s Power Collapses, Old Feuds Are Resurfacing

In May, Mahmoud Nashabat, a high-ranking military figure in the Fatah party (which controls the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority), was gunned down in central Gaza. Nashabat was an officer in the Gaza wing of the Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, a terrorist outfit that served as Fatah’s vanguard during the second intifada, and now sometimes collaborates with Hamas. But his killers were Hamas members, and he was one of at least 35 Palestinians murdered in Gaza in the past two months as various terrorist and criminal groups go about settling old scores, some of which date back to the 1980s. Einav Halabi writes:

Security sources familiar with the situation told the London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that Gaza is now also beleaguered by the resurgence of old conflicts. “Many people have been killed in incidents related to the first intifada in 1987, while others have died in family disputes,” they said.

The “first-intifada portfolio” in Gaza is considered complex and convoluted, as it is filled with hatred among residents who accuse others of killing relatives for various reasons, including collaboration with Israel. . . . According to reports from Gaza, there are vigorous efforts on the ground to contain these developments, but the chances of success remain unclear. Hamas, for its part, is trying to project governance and control, recently releasing several videos showcasing how its operatives brutally beat residents accused of looting.

These incidents, gruesome as they are, suggest that Hamas’s control over the territory is slipping, and it no longer holds a monopoly on violence or commands the fear necessary to keep the population in line. The murders and beatings also dimension the grim reality that would ensue if the war ends precipitously: a re-empowered Hamas setting about getting vengeance on its enemies and reimposing its reign of terror.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Fatah, Gaza War 2023, Hamas