Wednesday, 19 Jan 2022 - 17 of Shevat, 5782

The Dutch government halts its subsidy to a Palestinian aid organization over links to a terror group

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In a joint statement, Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Knapen and Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Tom De Bruijn explained that research commissioned by the cabinet from an independent consultancy had “provided sufficient evidence that there were ties at the individual level between UAWC staff and board members and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) for a considerable period of time.

 

The Dutch government has decided to  permanently stop subsidizing a Palestinian aid organization due to its ties with terror organizations.

The organization, Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), an NGO which is aimed at professionalizing Palestinian farmers in the West Bank, has so far received approximately $25 million of Dutch taxpayer money.

In a joint statement, Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Knapen and Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Tom De Bruijn explained that research commissioned by the cabinet from an independent consultancy had “provided sufficient evidence that there were ties at the individual level between UAWC staff and board members and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) for a considerable period of time

PFLP is designated as a terrorist organization by the US, the European Union, Israel, Australia, Canada and Japan.

Among others, the research has revealed that that two employees of the Palestinian NGO were involved in a bombing that killed 17-year-old Israeli girl Rina Schnerb in August 2019. It turned out that they were paid their salaries in part from the Dutch aid money to the UAWC.

The ministers’ statement noted that “for the government, the findings on individual links between the UAWC and the PFLP and the lack of openness about this from the UAWC, also during the investigation, are sufficient reason to stop financing the activities of the UAWC.’’

UAWC’s Finance and Administration director Abdul Razeq Farraj was indicted in October 2019 on four counts, including aiding an attempt to cause death in the terrorist attack on the Schnerb family. Farraj’s indictment refers to Ubai Aboudi, a PFLP member working with Farraj on recruitment, and the UAWC’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officer until April 2019. The commander of the PFLP terror cell that prepared and detonated the bomb was Samer Arbid, an accounted for UAWC at the time of his 2019 arrest.

Last year, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz decided to list UAWC and five other Palestinian NGO’s as terror organizations on the ground that they operate as arms of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

According to an Israeli defense source, the PFLP had adopted a modus operandi of using such groups to launder funding for terror activities.

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