United Nations Grants Observer Status to Hamas-Linked NGO
The United Nations Committee on Nongovernmental Organizations voted to grant NGO status to a Palestinian group with apparent ties to Hamas, the Israeli Permanent Mission to the United Nations revealed on Monday.
The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), which operates out of Britain, has been known to promote an anti-Israel agenda across Europe, in the political arena, on campuses and among the wider European public.
In 2010, Israel determined that the organization had ties to Hamas and, in a decree by then-defense minister Ehud Barak, banned the organization. The decree noted that PRC is an organizational and coordinating arm of Hamas in Europe. It said its members are senior Hamas officials operating to promote the terrorist group’s agenda in Europe, who maintain direct contact with Hamas’ senior leadership in Gaza, Damascus and elsewhere.
The report alleges that the PRC’s guidelines “include the denial of Israel’s right to exist.” The organization actively supports the “right of the return” of Palestinian refugees to Israeli territory, and insists that the establishment of a Palestinian state is harmful to that “right of return.”
The report also states that, according to research conducted by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, the organization is also involved in transferring funds to Hamas.
The concern, according to the report, is that NGO status “enables organizations to strengthen their global influence and to widely spread their activities.”
The status includes “access to U.N. committees and conferences like the Human Rights Council, and permanent and independent representation in U.N. sessions.”
Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N., Ron Prosor, said in response to this decision that, “Until today, the U.N. has given Hamas discounts and let it strengthen its activities.”
“Now, the U.N. went one step further and gave Hamas a welcoming celebration at its main entrance, allowing it to be a full participant. According to this script, one day we may find Hezbollah sitting at the Security Council and [the Islamic State] voting at the Human Rights Council,” he said. “This is the peak season for the U.N.’s Theater of the Absurd.”