Israel’s Mission to the United Nations led a diplomatic effort to prevent a Hamas–aligned group called “The Palestinian Association for Human Rights – Witness” from receiving a prestigious status at the UN.
The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on Thursday granted a special UN status to several global NGOs, a step that would enable these organizations to advise the UN in various fields and take part in its activities.
Some 236 NGOs were granted this status on Thursday. Among those who applied for the special status, there was a Palestinian organization registered in Lebanon under the name “Witness,” which allegedly promotes the rights of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
Its stated goals, as they appear in the organization’s website, are: “Improving the living conditions of the Palestinian refugees,” “defining the rights of the Palestinian refugees and protecting it,” “promoting the culture of the children’s rights among the Palestinian community of refugees in Lebanon,” and “giving the Palestinian youth and children the needed attention and meeting their demands.”
But according to Israel, this organization was, in fact, a Hamas-aligned group. Last March, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Benjamin Netanyahu signed an order declaring “Witness” a terrorist organization in Israel.
Israel’s Mission to the UN said in a statement on Thursday that “in recent months, Israel’s security establishment has revealed that Witness belongs to the Hamas movement and acts on its behalf against Israel as part of a network of institutions and organizations the terrorist organization operates outside the Gaza Strip.”