Telegraph omits EU terror designation of “left-wing” PFLP

A Telegraph article by Jerusalem correspondent James Rothwell (“Britain ‘concerned’ by Israeli raids on Palestinian human rights groups”, Aug. 18) reported on the IDF’s recent closure of several radical Palestinian NGOs it had designated last year as arms of the Iranian-backed PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) terror organisation.

The NGOs are: Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, Bisan Research and Advocacy Center, Addameer, Al-Haq, Defense for Children-International in Palestine and Union of Agricultural Work Committees.

Israel has charged that these groups operate “under the guise of performing humanitarian activities to further the goals of the PFLP terror organization”, including fundraising and recruitment of terror operatives for the PFLP –  and that some members of the NGOs personally participated in terror attacks.

First, Rothwell’s report claims that “Israel has provided little evidence to back up its claim”, ignoring open-source information that corroborates many of the allegations.

Rothwell also quotes Shawan Jabarin, the director of Al-Haq, recounting how Israeli forces “came, blew up the door, got inside, and messed with the files”, but fails to inform readers that Jabarin was convicted in 1985 for recruiting and arranging training for PFLP members and, in 2008, was referred to by Israel’s Supreme Court as a “senior PFLP activist”.

The Telegraph journalist describes PFLP thusly:

According to Israel, the NGOs have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a left-wing movement with both a political and armed wing. The latter has carried out deadly attacks on Israelis.

Rothwell omits that PFLP – grounded in Marxist-Lenninism, as opposed to mere “left-wing” politics – is designated by both the European Union and United States as proscribed terror groups, which applies to its ‘political’ and armed wings. Their terror designation is based on the group’s history of launching deadly attacks on Israeli civilians and their rejection of Israel’s right to exist.  (Tellingly, even the Guardian’s Aug. 18 report on Israel’s closure of the Palestinian organisations mentioned these terror designation of PFLP.)

Here’s some more information on the terror record of the group:

  • PFLP carried out scores of deadly attacks on Israeli civilians over the years – including suicide bombings and the murder of an Israeli minister in 2001.
  • Amjad Awad and Hakim Awad, the terrorists responsible for the 2011 attack in Itamar, in which Ehud and Ruth Fogel, and three of their six children – the youngest being three months old – were savagely murdered in their home, were affiliated with PFLP.
  • PFLP terrorists also carried out the brutal 2014 massacre of worshipers in a Har Nof, Jerusalem synagogue, which killed six.
  • PFLP also claimed responsibility for a fatal 2019 West Bank bombing which killed 17 year-old Israeli, Rina Shnerb.  In fact, the PFLP terrorists accused of carrying out that attack, Samer Arbid and Abdul Razeq Farraj, worked for one of the proscribed NGOs, Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC).
  • PFLP was one of the Gaza terror groups firing rockets into Israel during the Gaza conflict in May 2021.

We’ve complained to Telegraph editors about their failure to note PFLP’s terror designation.

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