Netherlands stops funding Palestinian NGOs, challenges Israel’s allegations

The Netherlands says it will stop funding Palestinian civil society organizations that were recently declared a terrorist organization by Israel

Jerusalem-The Netherlands said it would stop funding a Palestinian civil society organization that was recently declared a terrorist organization by Israel, but rejected Israel’s main claim to the organization after its own audit.

The Dutch government said on Wednesday that there was no evidence that the Agricultural Work Committee Coalition had “organizational links” with the left-wing militant group Palestine Liberation People’s Front, or was involved in financing or committing terrorism because of allegations made by Israel.

Nevertheless, the government decided to stop funding because it found evidence that individual members of civil society groups are connected to the PFLP. PFLP has a political party and an armed faction that is regarded as a terrorist organization by Israel and Western countries.

UAWC stated that the funding interruption announced this week was “shocking and deeply disturbing” because the Dutch have been one of their main donors since 2013. The organization stated that it has no political affiliation and does not care about private political activities in the Netherlands. Its employees.

It stated that at a time when “Palestinian civil society was under unprecedented attack”, the Dutch decision was “a breach of trust”.

Israel has provided little evidence to support its claim that six NGOs are the front lines of the PFLP, and critics call this move as part of a wider suppression of Palestinian radicalism. The decision made it illegal to fund or support these groups and paved the way for the military to forcibly close them, even though it has not yet done so.

The conclusion of the Dutch government is derived from an independent audit conducted by Proximities Risk Consultancy. UAWC stated that it cooperated with the investigation, but found “a number of factual inaccuracies, including several false identities” in the results of the investigation. Proximities did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A letter from the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development and Foreign Affairs to the Dutch Parliament stated that the audit “has fully demonstrated that there has been a personal connection between UAWC and PFLP employees and board members for some time.”

It added: “The large number of UAWC board members with dual tasks is particularly worrying.” “For the Cabinet, the findings regarding the individual relationship between UAWC and PFLP and the lack of publicity of UAWC on this, also during the investigation, are A good reason not to fund UAWC activities anymore.”

Other groups banned by Israel are Al-Haq Human Rights Organization, Addameer Prisoners Rights Organization, Child Protection International-Palestine, Bisan Research and Development Center, and the Coalition of Palestinian Women’s Committees.

All of these are located in the occupied West Bank, which Israel occupied in the 1967 war. The Palestinians want the West Bank to be a major part of their future country.

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Associated Press writer Mike Cord contributed to this report in The Hague, Netherlands.

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