(February 5, 2020 / JNS) Eight European-funded Palestinian NGOs have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S.-designated terrorist group, according to a new report.
Palestinian NGOs Addameer, Al-Dameer, Defense for Children International-Palestine, Health Work Committees, Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), Union of Health Work Committees and Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees were all identified by Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor in a report released last week as having extensive ties to the PFLP.
“Over 70 current and former staff, board members and general assembly members, as well as senior management and founders at these NGOs have direct ties to the PFLP, designated as a terror group by the U.S., E.U., Canada, Israel and others,” said the report.
“A number of them are employed in financial positions at the European-supported NGOs, raising questions about oversight and aid diversion,” it continued.
“This is part of a wide-ranging network used by the terror group to gain legitimacy by operating under the façade of civil society,” the report added.
The report details millions of dollars in funding to these NGOs from government sponsors including the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, France, Ireland, Norway and Belgium, with additional support from the United States, Canada, Japan, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and UNICEF.
It also identified five members of the European-funded NGOs, including an accountant at UAWC, who were indicted in December in connection with the explosion in Israel in August that killed 17-year-old Rina Shnerb.
According to NGO Monitor president and founder Professor Gerald Steinberg, European support for select Palestinian and Israeli NGOs began in the mid-1990s, with several European Union and member state officials using the support to increase their influence.
“This policy has grown into a massive funding program with some $100 million annually, with almost no accountability,” he told JNS.
The lack of oversight regarding these funds, said Steinberg, results in “money designated for peace and human rights used instead for incitement and demonization.”
“The fact that the European government officials, members of parliament and journalists are unaware of these numerous links between the NGOs and the terrorists speaks for itself,” said Steinberg.
“Each of the countries involved, and the E.U., should freeze all the funding and undertake independent investigations,” he added. “The information is publicly available. All they have to do is look.”
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