A new report by NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research institute, documents ‘overwhelming evidence’ of ties between seven Palestinian NGOs and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
The U.S., E.U., Canada and Israel have designated the PFLP as a terrorist organization. However, on July 12, 2022, nine European governments rejected an Israeli decision to class six Palestinian nongovernmental organizations as terrorist entities because they are PFLP fronts.
The foreign ministries of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden said in a joint statement that Israel’s designation of Palestinian “civil society organizations” as terrorist organizations was not supported by evidence.
“No substantial information was received from Israel that would justify reviewing our policy towards the six Palestinian NGOs,” the ministries said.
“When European officials say they see ‘no evidence’ of the terror links of their Palestinian NGO clients, they are ignoring numerous readily verifiable examples,” said Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor.
According to NGO Monitor’s 85-page report, titled “Clear and Convincing: The Links between the PFLP and the European Government-funded NGO Network,” the E.U. position is “untenable.”
Based on open-source materials, NGO Monitor identified at least 60 Palestinian NGO officials with links to the PFLP, including some convicted for planning or executing terrorist attacks, such as the August 2019 murder of 17-year-old Rina Shnerb.
“Five of the NGOs have highly visible organizational links to the PFLP,” NGO Monitor said.
On Oct. 22, 2021, Israel listed six Palestinian NGOs as terror groups: Addameer, al-Haq, Defense for Children Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees. A seventh NGO, Health Work Committees (HWC), was designated in January 2020.
“Those organizations were active under the cover of civil society organizations, but in practice belong and constitute an arm of the [PFLP] leadership, the main activity of which is the ‘liberation’ of Palestine and destruction of Israel,” announced then-Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
The NGO Monitor report cites a number of E.U. statements claiming that “the participation of entities, individuals or groups affiliated, linked to or supporting terrorist organizations [is] incompatible with any E.U. funding.”
Steinberg said, “There is no excuse for this blind abuse of taxpayer funds.…Instead of ignoring the facts, it is time for European governments to act responsibly.”