New Delhi: India stood by Israel and voted against the granting of the status of an observer organisation to the Palestinian-Lebanese terror organiation 'Shahed'. On June 6, in a resolution initiated by Israel, the Hamas allied group 'The Palestine Associaton for Human Rights-Witness' was prevented from receiving a special status at the United Nations.

Israel introduced at a meeting of the ECOSOC the draft decision "L.15" on June 6 titled "Application of the non-governmental organisation Palestinian Association for Human Rights - Witness for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council" that sought to return to the NGO Committee Witness' application for consultative status, a very rare occurrence.

The decision was adopted by a recorded vote of 28 in favour to 15 against, with five abstentions. Countries voting in favour of the decision were Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States.

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According to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release,"Shahed is a Palestinian organisation based in Lebanon that claims to deal with human rights and humanitarian issues, but in practice is an organisation that Israel has declared a terrorist organisation and in fact, operates as an arm of the Hamas terror organisation in  Lebanon".

The Shahed has been registered in Lebanon under the name “Witness” which claims to support the rights of the 450,000 Palestinians living in the 12 UNRWA-run refugee camps across Lebanon.

The Council decided to return the NGO's application as the organisation failed to present important information when its credentials were being considered during the committee on NGOs earlier this year. "The Economic and Social Council decides to return the application of Palestinian Association for Human Rights - Witness to the Committee on Non-Governmental Organisatons", it said.

The Israeli PM has on several occassions called for united action against 'radical islam' saying that it is 'challenging our way of life'. 

The committee on NGOs reviews new applications for consultative status twice a year, in January ('regular session') and in May ('resumed session').

However, the committee does not decide but only recommends.