Israel welcomes Netherlands ending of funding to PFLP-linked organisation

January 7, 2022 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced  on Wednesday that it was ceasing all funding of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UWAC), which has links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror organisation.

Armed woman among the supporters who participating in a rally in Gaza City, marking the 52nd anniversary of the founding of the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine). Gaza, Dec 2019. Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS

The UAWC is one of six PFLP-linked civilian organizations that Israel proscribed in October after they were shown to act as conduits for funneling funds to the terrorist organization.

The Netherlands opened the investigation after two senior UAWC employees were found to be involved in the PFLP bombing at Ein Danny in August 2019 in which Rina Shnerb was killed and her father Eitan and brother Dvir were seriously injured.

Sammer Arabid, the head of the cell, is one of the organizational management staff of the UAWC, which is supported by France and other European countries. Similarly, Abed Razek Faraj, a PLFP member and a former convicted terrorist, managed the committee’s accounts.

Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Knapen and Foreign Trade Minister Tom de Brujin stated that while a review shows “that no evidence has been found of financial flows between the UAWC and the PFLP… there were ties at the individual level between UAWC staff and board members and the PFLP for some considerable time. The great number of UAWC board members with roles in both organizations gives particular cause for concern.”

Israel welcomed the announcement as “an important announcement” while noting that the UAWC “is in fact an organic part of the PFLP terrorist organization, like the additional five organizations which Israel declared lately as terrorist organizations.”

“Israel will continue its dialogue with the Netherlands and additional countries in regards to these organizations. Supporting these organizations constitutes a violation of Israeli law,” Lior Haiat, spokesperson of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated.

“Israel welcomes the announcement by the Dutch Foreign Ministry that it will continue supporting projects which assist Palestinian civil society through legitimate aid organizations, an important goal which Israel also shares,” he added.

NGO Monitor, a watchdog that tracks anti-Israel organizations operating under the guise of human rights and civil groups, called on other European countries that are funding UAWC’s to “take note” and the Netherlands “and all other donor governments need to immediately review their vetting and auditing processes for NGO partners to ensure funds are safeguarded from diversion to terror organizations.”

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