Palestinians deny nonprofits act as terror fronts, but the facts suggest otherwise

PA maintains that Israel Defense Ministry’s terror designations, paving the way to seize the organizations’ assets, are untrue.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Palestinian entities ranging from terror group Hamas to the Palestinian Authority blasted Israel for classifying six NGOs as fronts for terrorist activity, calling the move an “unprecedented assault” on Palestinian society.

Israel’s Defense Ministry said on Friday that the groups “constitute a network of organizations active undercover on the international front on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and are controlled by senior leaders of the PFLP.”

The most prominent of the six NGOs are Al-Haq, which spearheads legal campaigns and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activities against Israel, and Addameer, which advocates for Palestinian prisoners. Both are based in Ramallah.

The other four designated NGOs are Defense for Children-International, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees and the Bisan Research and Advocacy Center.

The PFLP is designated as a “terror organization” by Israel, the U.S., the European Union and Canada. The terror organization’s most notable attacks include the 1976 Entebbe hijacking, the 2001 assassination of tourism minister Rehavam Zeevi and the 2014 Har Nof synagogue massacre.

Gantz’s designation paves the way for Israeli authorities to seize the organization’s assets.

The PA Foreign Ministry said that “this fallacious and libelous slander is a strategic assault on Palestinian civil society and the Palestinian people’s fundamental right to oppose Israel’s illegal occupation and expose its continuing crimes.”

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said the decision was an attempt to “weaken the Palestinians and deprive them of the services provided by these organizations.”

The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) and the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) released a fiery statement criticizing “arbitrary designations [which] target six of the most eminent organizations and human rights defenders engaged in critical human rights work.”

However, the Palestinian groups failed to acknowledge a long history of international aid money being funneled through NGOs and commandeered as financing for terror.

A July 2021 report from Zionist watchdog group Im Tirtzu revealed that some $40 million in funding from the UN was funneled to Palestinian NGOs that support terror from 2016 to 2020.

Eight out of the 19 Palestinian NGOs that received UN funding during that time period have clear ties to Hamas or the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror groups, the report said.

A Palestinian NGO with links to Hamas received over $1 million in UN funding between 2016 and 2020, the report found.

A May 2020 report from Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs warned that funds donated to Palestinian aid organizations, from both state sources and private donors, were being used to support terrorism.

One of the most prominent cases of NGO money financing terrorism is Rina Shnerb’s murder, which occurred in August 2019. Shnerb, a 17-year-old Israeli girl, was killed by a roadside bomb near Dolev while hiking with her father and brother.

Samer Arbid, the financial director of the Agricultural Work Committee, one of the designated NGOs, was accused of leading the terror cell responsible for the deadly attack.