A British non-governmental organization is threatening legal action against the Israeli government over its accusation that the organization is linked to the militant group Hamas.

The Palestinian Return Center this week was granted consultative status at the United Nations, prompting Israel's U.N. mission to protest that the organization is associated with Hamas and "promotes anti-Israel propaganda."

The NGO says the claim that it is affiliated with Hamas is unfounded. The group says it defends the right of return for Palestinian refugees and has existed for almost two decades.

A 19-country U.N. committee voted on the organization, with 12 countries approving. The United States joined Israel and Uruguay voting against the group, while Russia, India and Greece abstained.

The U.S. and the European Union consider Hamas a terror group.