As was noted here last week, on June 1st the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations approved the first stage of the application by the London-based Palestinian Return Centre for UN accreditation.
“The British-based Palestinian Return Centre on Tuesday threatened Israel’s U.N. mission with legal action after the Jewish state accused it of having ties to the Palestinian militant group Hamas, an allegation the group said was false.
The Israeli accusations came after a United Nations committee that oversees non-governmental organizations voted to approve U.N accreditation for the PRC, which Israel’s mission said was not only linked to Hamas but promoted “anti-Israel propaganda in Europe.”
“We announce that PRC is considering legal action against the Israeli delegation at the U.N.,” the group said in a statement circulated to the 19-member U.N. Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations.
“We also hold them accountable for the safety and security of our members worldwide,” the group said. “Such allegations and defamation where we are described as terrorist and affiliated to Hamas are dangerous, baseless and will have negative ramifications on our work and members.”
The statement offered no details on the type of legal action the group might take against the Israeli mission.”
The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center however informs us that Hamas claims that the head of the organization which denies being affiliated to Hamas received a congratulatory phone call… from Hamas.
“Hamas’s English-language and Arabic-language media announced on June 3, 2015, that Ismail Haniya, deputy chief of Hamas’s Political Bureau, congratulated Majed al-Zeer, the general director of the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), for having been granted a non-governmental observer status in the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations. The congratulations were conveyed on a telephone call, apparently on June 2.”
The story then took a peculiar turn:
“AP (as well as other media outlets, including Reuters) reported that PRC’s spokesman Sameh Habeeb claimed that Majed al-Zeer had not received a telephone call from Ismail Haniya. According to AP, later on that day (June 2, 2015), Ismail Haniya’s spokesman sent a message to reporters asking them “‘not to deal’ with the earlier announcement about the phone call”.”
One does hope that the representatives of the 54 member states of ECOSOC tasked with deciding next month whether to approve the PRC’s application are managing to keep up with the plot.