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EU, Switzerland reassess Palestinian NGO funding post-Oct. 7

The E.U. will introduce an anti-incitement requirement in its contracts with NGOs.

Flags in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. Credit: Hadrian/Shutterstock.
Flags in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. Credit: Hadrian/Shutterstock.

The European Union and Switzerland both took restrictive measures after internal reviews of their Palestinian aid portfolios completed last week found there was reason for concern over incitement.

Switzerland raised questions about the “political neutrality of some NGOs” and announced it would cancel contracts with three of them receiving grants totaling a combined €600,000 ($657,000), over breach of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs’s Code of Conduct.

This comes after Switzerland announced on Oct. 25 the suspension of funds to 11 NGOs (5 Palestinian; 5 Israeli; 1 U.S.-based) pending an internal review.

The E.U. also is revisiting its funding to projects of two NGOs totaling €8 million ($8.8 million) over “allegations of incitement to hatred and violence after the 7 October 2023 events.”

The E.U. will introduce an anti-incitement requirement in its contracts with NGOs. It revealed that, since it introduced an anti-terror requirement in its contracts in 2021, Palestinian NGOs involved in 11 projects totaling €14.3 million ($15.7 million) refused to sign the contract.

“The E.U. and Swiss decisions are necessary and welcome steps. The E.U.’s introduction of a new anti-incitement requirement will hopefully lead towards better screening of Palestinian NGOs,” Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor said in a statement.

“We hope the language of this new condition is specific enough to address ongoing Palestinian NGO incitement, since similar existing policies are largely inapplicable in the Palestinian context,” NGO Monitor said.

“Germany, Sweden and Austria are due to release the findings of their internal reviews before the end of 2023, and we hope similar measures will be taken in all these countries,” it added.

In October, NGO Monitor published a report, titled “European-Funded NGOs Justify the Massacre of Israelis,” which it shared with members of the European Parliament. 

That report followed the presentation of a report in September by the group in Bern, Switzerland, on how Swiss-funded NGOs incite violence against Israelis and Jews and have ties to designated terrorist organizations.

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