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May 28, 2015 3:21 pm

UN Set to Vote on Granting Group With Hamas Ties Observer Status

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

Then-Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh addresses a 2009 Palestinian Return Centre conference. Photo: Courtesy

A U.N. committee on nongovernmental organizations was set to vote on Thursday on granting observer status to a Palestinian advocacy group with close affiliation to Hamas’ leadership.

The 19-member committee “dominated by Iran and its allies will decide [on Friday] whether to grant official observer status to an antisemitic front group of the Hamas terrorist organization,” reported United Nations monitor U.N. Watch.”

U.N. Watch said granting the U.K.-based Palestinian Return Centre observer status would “allow representatives of the Hamas-linked PRC to acquire official U.N. badges, full access to U.N. facilities and participation in debates in New York, Geneva, and Vienna, and, perhaps most significantly, global legitimacy.”

According to U.N. Watch, the group is one of the few Palestinian advocacy organizations banned by Israel over its “deep entanglement with top leaders of the Hamas terrorist organization based in Gaza and abroad.”

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Iran and Sudan, both Hamas supporters, spoke out in support of the group as recently as last February during a U.N. meeting, according to U.N. Watch.

The PRC website includes information about events that support boycott, divestment and sanctions efforts against Israel.

Another article on the PRC website draws comparisons between the Canadian mistreatment and genocide of Natives in North America and Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

The group aims to “highlight the issue of the right of return both as a humanitarian and political concern,” referring to the Palestinian belief that refugees born of the 1948 Israeli-Arab war be allowed to return to their homes in modern Israel.

The Israel-based Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center concluded that the PRC is “affiliated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood,” the Egyptian Islamist organization that briefly controlled that country following the Arab uprising of 2011.

“Some of its senior figures are Hamas activists who found refuge in Britain,” where the organization is based, said the monitoring group.

The watchdog’s website includes a picture from a 2009 PRC conference of then-Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh addressing the audience.

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