Israel berated the United Nations on Monday after it allowed a Palestinian nongovernmental organization (NGO) to be heard at the world body that Israel claimed is linked to Hamas. The U.N. committee on NGOs voted 12 to 3 in favor, with three abstentions, of recognizing the British-based Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) as a permanent NGO with access to the world body's many fora. The Israeli mission to the U.N. said in a statement that the PRC "promotes anti-Israel propaganda in Europe" and that senior PRC members have ties to other organizations that transfer funds to Hamas. Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor said the move amounted to the United Nations giving "Hamas a welcoming celebration at its main entrance, allowing it to be a full participant."
The United States, Uruguay and Israel voted against recognizing the PRC as a permanent NGO, while Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Turkey and Venezuela were among the nations that supported their application at the United Nations. Israel declared the PRC illegal in 2010 after determining that it "serves as an organizational and coordinating wing of Hamas in Europe." Last year, Israel fought a 50-day war against Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, leaving more than 2,200 Palestinians dead.