Washington says it is concerned about six civil society groups being shut in occupied West Bank by Tel Aviv –– an action slammed by Palestine and dubbed "arbitrary" by the UN.
Israel will provide additional information to the United States related to its closure of Palestine's non-governmental organisations, the US State Department has said while expressing concern over the closures of civil society groups.
Washington contacted Israeli officials, including at high levels, for more information, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said at a regular news briefing on Thursday, after Israeli forces raided the offices of seven NGOs in the Israeli-occupied West Bank it accused of channelling aid to outlawed groups.
"We are concerned about the Israeli security forces' closure of the six offices of the Palestinian NGOs in and around Ramallah today," Price told reporters.
"We have reached out to the Israeli government, including at senior levels, including here from Washington as well as our embassy in Jerusalem, for more information regarding the basis for these closures," he added.
The US will continue to seek additional information from Israel and officials there "have assured us that more information will be forthcoming regarding the basis for their actions," Price said.
UN: Israel has no credible evidence
The United Nations condemned the closures and said there was no credible evidence to support the Israeli accusations.
"Despite offers to do so, Israeli authorities have not presented to the United Nations any credible evidence to justify these declarations," the UN Human Rights Office said in a statement.
"As such, the closures appear totally arbitrary."
The United Nations identified the groups as the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association; Al Haq; Bisan Center for Research and Development; Defense for Children International – Palestine; Health Work Committees (HWC); Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC); the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees (UPWC).
Al Haq, a Palestinian human rights group, said on Twitter that Israeli forces "confiscated items and shut down the main entrance with an iron plate leaving behind a military order declaring the organisation unlawful" early on Thursday.
Nine European Union countries have said they will continue working with the groups, citing a lack of evidence for the Israeli accusation.