Report: On PA’s request, US to Add Israeli orgs Lehava and La Familia to list of terrorist organizations

June 29, 2022 by Baruch Yedid - TPS
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During an angry phone call between Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on May 31, the latter promised Abbas that the Biden administration would soon add the Israeli Lehava (Flame) and La Familia organizations to the list of US-designated terrorist organizations, TPS has learned.

Israelis sing and dance in the Flag Parade through Jerusalem, May 2022. Photo by Elyashiv Rakovski/TPS

Blinken said that the Israeli government is also working to declare these two organizations terrorist organizations.

This move follows Abbas’ complaint about an alleged series of acts of violence and incitement against the Palestinians and following his demand to remove the PLO from the US list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO).

Sources also report that during Abbas’ recent meeting with Barbara Leaf, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, he shouted at her and protested that the US was willing to remove the Kahana Chai movement from the list of terrorist organizations and bluntly told Leaf “how do you allow yourself to sit with the head of the terrorist authority? Time and time again, you repeatedly define me as a terrorist as chairman of the PLO, while you recognize that the Kahana movement is not a terrorist entity.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz recently said that outlawing the Lehava organization is being examined by the defence establishment. “It will be done in the cleanest and best way,” he said. Other ministers have voiced similar sentiments.

Lehava is considered a far-right organization that combats Jewish assimilation in Israel, especially relationships between Jewish girls and Arab men.

After clashes between several marchers and Arabs in the Old City of Jerusalem on Jerusalem Day, including calls by a group of La Familia members of “death to the Arabs,” Foreign Minister Yair Lapid stated ambiguously that “Lehavah and La Familia are not Jerusalem Day.”

“The Lehavah and its entourage do not deserve to carry the Israeli flag. Lehavah and its entourage are a disgrace that harms the joy of the people of Israel on Jerusalem Day,” he charged.

Sources add that Blinken demanded that Abbas cooperate with Israel regarding the death of Al-Jazeera journalist Sheerin Abu Akleh who was killed during a gun battle between IDF forces and terrorists in Jenin last month.

The sources further say that Blinken demanded that Abbas not make any decision regarding severing relations with Israel before the US President Joe Biden arrives in the region in mid-July, adding that a parallel demand had been made to Israel regarding the cessation of military activity, and especially the demolition of terrorist homes.

In Ramallah, it is said that the conversation was particularly angry, during which Abbas said that he was not prepared to continue with the current situation in the absence of a Diplomatic horizon and American involvement in this matter.

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