update desk

Journalist killed on Gaza-Israel border was reportedly a Hamas officer

“The repeated instances in which international organizations are hijacked by Hamas highlights the urgent need for greater oversight by both NGOs and their donor governments,” said Professor Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor.

Palestinian protesters attempt to blind Israel Defense Forces with mirrors, as they demonstrate and burn tires near the border with Israel in the Gaza Strip, as seen from the Israeli side of the border on April 6, 2018. Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash90
Palestinian protesters attempt to blind Israel Defense Forces with mirrors, as they demonstrate and burn tires near the border with Israel in the Gaza Strip, as seen from the Israeli side of the border on April 6, 2018. Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash90

A journalist contracted by the Norwegian Refugee Council, who was killed on April 6 during the violence along the Gaza-Israel border, has reportedly been exposed as an officer in the Hamas terrorist group.

According to an April 9 NRC statement, “Yasser Murtaja … had agreed to document for NRC the bitter prolonged struggle faced by Palestinian refugees in Gaza. The work was planned to start the day after he was killed.”

According to NGO Monitor, an Israeli watchdog group that investigates the work of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) operating against Israel, Murtaja’s hire by a the council is part of a pattern in which NGOs have employed known terrorists.

In a U.S. court settlement this month, the Norwegian People’s Aid organization admitted to working with Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations in Gaza. In 2016, World Vision’s manager of operations in Gaza was arrested, and is currently on trial for funneling 60 percent (approximately $50 million) to Hamas for use in terror tunnels, military installations and other terrorist activities.

“The repeated instances in which international organizations are hijacked by Hamas highlights the urgent need for greater oversight by both NGOs and their donor governments,” stated the president of NGO Monitor, Professor Gerald Steinberg.

He added that “organizations must take vetting procedures very seriously in selecting employees, and conduct frequent financial reviews and audits to actually help the vulnerable population of Gaza and prevent diversion.”

According to a statement, NGO Monitor “has documented concerns that nongovernmental organizations like NRC do little to mitigate the risks of aid diversion when operating in conflict zones and areas controlled by terrorist groups,” adding that “NRC’s statements criticizing ‘counter-terrorism measures’ designed to prevent Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist factions from commandeering materials and funds … are highly problematic.”

 

 

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