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December 31, 2013 12:10 pm
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Israel Outlaws Hamas’s European Front Group CEPR; IDF Could Arrest its MP Board Members on Arrival

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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Israel's Defense Minister Ya'alon. Photo: Defense Ministry.

Citing emergency defense regulations, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has outlawed The Council for European Palestinian Relations, a Belgian-registered non-profit organization that serves as terror group Hamas’s mouthpiece in Europe.

The move, enacted two weeks ago, but revealed by Israeli daily Ha’aretz on Tuesday, means that all of the executives and directors of CEPR, including four current European MPs and a former British cabinet member, could be arrested upon arrival in Israel.

The members of parliament include British Labour MEP Richard Howitt, German representative Alexandra Thein, Swiss MP Geri Müller and British MP Norman Warner, a member of the House of Lords, who was a health minister in Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government, and now serves on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Palestine. Former British International Development Secretary Clare Short, who resigned in 2003, when the UK entered the Iraq War, is Chair of CEPR’s Board of Trustees, and would also be barred from Israel by the move.

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Short told Britain’s The Independent: “I’ve never been with CEPR via Israel, been to Gaza a number of times but always via Rafah.”

The director of the NGO is Dr. Arafat Shoukri, a resident of London who has been active for many years in various organizations working against the State of Israel, and was one of the leaders of the campaign calling for the lifting of the Gaza security blockade, Ha’aretz said.

In the past three years the CEPR has organized six delegations of European MPs, who visited Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. In 2010 Shoukri met with the then-chairman of the EU Parliament. The organization acts as a lobby for the Gaza government in the European Union, the Israeli newspaper said.

Also outlawed by Israel was European Empowerment Services, a Norwegian NGO, and the European Campaign to Remove the Siege Against the Gaza Strip, which Ha’aretz said “is a media name only, without any real organization behind it.”

Ha’aretz cited a statement from Israel’s Shin Bet security services as saying that CEPR was declared an illegal organization, “in light of the fact that it is Hamas’ leading organization in Europe, which carries out its activity under cover of being a pro-Palestinian organization. The organization is headed by senior Hamas activists, including Arafat Shoukri and Rami Abdo.”

Meanwhile, Shoukri told The Independent: “The decision of the Israel defense minister is based on false accusations and has no shred of truth and we will challenge it through the legal means.”

While he denied being a Hamas mouthpiece — “The CEPR is a non profit organisation and is not affiliated to any political party whether inside or outside Palestine” — Shoukri pushed for the inclusion of Hamas controlled Gaza in the political process aimed at reaching a peace deal between the Palestinian Authority, controlled by Hamas-rival Fatah, and Israel — “We also believe that the international community should respect the democratic and transparent elections that took place in Palestine 2006 and engage with all representatives of the Palestinian people.”

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  • iche

    unfortunately the war has moved from the military to the Media Front. Israel is always on the defensive position which is like in any type of war, the bad side.
    there is one solution only:
    FIGHT THEM WITH THEIR OWN WEAPONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Media war is priority. it is the cheapest war- that can cause expensive harms-
    Unfortunately, too little is being done.

  • Claudia

    Europeans pro Hamas and other terrorist groups are irrational. Their ancestors were anti-Semitic and so are they. It´s atavic. Their irrationality makes them blind.
    There is not a minimum of a chance to make them change their mind. Useless to try, unfortunately. Medievel christian heritage!

  • Sandy Brown

    Good news. About time too. In London, we all think that Nick Farage (UKIP) will take over the Tories in the Local Elections this year. We have all had enough of Cameron as he does nothing. He is a useless Prime Minister.

  • At last, Israel is taking action against these hostile organisations whose members land at Ben-Gurion Airport only to go straight to the West Bank and spread lies about Israel. These include the young people sent to the West Bank by another front organization, the Camden-Abu Dis Friendship Association, which Israel also ought to ban if it has not done so already. The young people in question were sent straight back home, but they later made all kinds of offensive allegations about their treatment at Ben Gurion Airport which were gleefully published in the Camden Journal.

  • Mireille Mechoullam

    These idiots who support Hamas, Hezballah are ignorany people who do not understand the real ideology of the Koran. I am here to tell you that their Prophet Mohamed told his people befriend your enemy till you are strong enough to fight him and kill him, I can also give you another example: In Nazi concentration camps there were Jewish Kapos who thought thy will be spared from death. The only difference they lived a little longer.

  • E benAbuya

    Can’t wait for the NYT an HuffPo triple vortex

  • alanash.

    Let’s start dealing with them with strength , that is the only thing they understand is strength and an iron fist.
    They all want us dead anyway .

    • Jack

      You are no friend. Do you know who it was who also spoke using “strength” and “iron fist” as a prelude to murder? You are a provoker of hate. CEPR has already hate. enough for us all.

  • Luigi Rosolin

    I had lived in Italy till 1986 and the ideology in supporting Palestinian’s is base on misleading information-propaganda. The student’s but not only are influenced my media that like everything else can be very partisan. Israel had been slam well as the Palestinian’s are made appear like victim. The move to outlaw this organization and people must be supported with media and diplomatic exposition of the fact and who are the one causing war and terror. Is not solution to Palestinian’s that can work till they people are indoctrinate from young age to hate Jews and Christians. Hamas control on Palestinian’s is the main cause as they can’t freely choice. Their Islamic religion (cult) is also a fundamental block to real peace as their scope is primary alienation of all who are not Muslim. Israel had to relay to God and the capacity that he had given to his people.

    • m_

      I would only add that we should always try to remember to use the words Islamists or Islamic Extremists and not use the the words Islam and Muslims. There are some followers of Islam and true Muslim moderates and secularists who do wish to see peace. There are not enough of them and they are not free to express their views because of the dominance of Islamic extremists within the West Bank and Gaza and increasingly throughout Middle Eastern countries, Europe, the U.S. and Europe and Turkey. In Saudi Arabia, and Iran Islamic extremists are in power as they are in Gaza. We need to remember the other Muslims because they may represent a last hope that Islam will eventually evolve into other than what most of it is today in most Muslim communities around the world today. As for the Hamas front group in question, Israel did the right thing.

  • BuckDePublick

    Execute the whole bunch along with Hamas, Hezbollah and the rest.

  • Bernard Ross

    they should also be liable for targeted assassination like every other hamas enemy

  • Eric R.

    I think Israel should extend this ban to all EU Nazis, er, I mean EU Parliament members, except for a select handful that are pro-Israel, such as Nigel Farage and Daniel Hannan.

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