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Irish FM: Israel hasn't provided evidence of Palestinian NGOs as terror entities

i24NEWS

3 min read
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney attends a Foreign Affairs Council meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on July 12, 2021.
JOHN THYS / AFPIrish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney attends a Foreign Affairs Council meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on July 12, 2021.

Concerns are personal in this case, as Ireland funds two of the NGOs included in Israel’s report

Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Tuesday that Israel has not provided credible evidence to prove that there is substance behind its recent designation of six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist entities.

“We have asked for, as has the EU, the evidence basis for designating those NGOs,” Coveney explained, The Jerusalem Post (The Post) reported.

“We have not gotten any credible evidence to link the NGOs to terrorism,” he added, “certainly not that I have seen.”

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Coveney indicated that the issue is high on his agenda during his two-day visit to Israel, his first trip to Israel in four years. 

While the Irish diplomat describes himself as a friend of the Jewish state, he does not hesitate to criticize it on issues of disagreement, such as the recent NGO terror labeling, according to The Post.

Concerns are personal in this case, as Ireland funds two of the NGOs included in Israel’s report - Al-Haq and Addameer.

“We have very robust systems of knowing where our money is spent and how it is spent,” Coveney explained.

He added that the two groups passed inspection by his government, The Post reported.

More evidence is needed, Coveney claimed, as the document Israel provided failed to make the case for such charges.

Ireland “would act” in the right way should the charges be proven as sufficient, he said, adding that he would never allow “Irish taxpayer’s money to [go toward] supporting terrorism or violence or inciting to violence.”

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Coveney urged the importance of democratic countries like Israel supporting civil society, The Post reported.

“Any functioning democracy in my view has to facilitate that civil society space of active criticism and sometimes protest.”