A new report published on Wednesday, February 1st, by the Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor found “overwhelming evidence of ties between seven terror-linked Palestinian NGOs and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP),” a designated terror organization recognized not only by Israel but most Western countries, including the EU and the U.S.
In October 2021, Tel Aviv decided to designate six of these NGOs as terrorist entities based on verified reports provided by Israeli intelligence agencies. However, the EU and several European governments—including those funding these organizations—claimed that they had received no credible information that would link the NGOs to any terrorist organization. But now the extensive documentation presented by NGO Monitor’s 85-page report (irrespective of prior information possessed by Tel Aviv and Mossad) clearly “renders these denials untenable,” the press release reads.
The six Palestinian NGOs labeled as terrorists by the Israeli government over clear ties to the PFLP include Addameer, Al-Haq, Bisan, Defense for Children International–Palestine (DCIP), Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) and Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC). The seventh, Health Work Committees (HWC) was already designated as a terrorist group in January 2020.
The report also identified at least 50 Palestinian NGO officials linked to the PFLP, including people who have been convicted for taking part in the planning or execution of terrorist attacks. And while the report mainly focuses on the seven NGOs in question—five of which have highly visible ties to PFLP—NGO Monitor also identified a network of thirteen PFLP-linked Palestinian NGOs operating in the West Bank and Gaza, that has received over €200 million in aid over the past decade, despite emerging evidence of their continued ties to the PFLP.
“The report was shared last week with EU and UN officials, as well as with parliament members,” Itai Reuveni, Director of Communications at NGO Monitor told The European Conservative. “A thorough and responsible review of this open-source information should convince governments to end funding to these organizations.”
Although EU officials have been hesitant to recognize the link between these NGOs and the PFLP, this is not true of all European countries. Last year, the Netherlands announced that, based on an 18-month audit that identified 34 individuals who held positions in both the UAWC and the Popular Front, it canceled its aid contract with the UAWC. Similarly, five financial institutions—including American Express, Visa, and Mastercard—have previously shut down online donations to these NGOs over concerns of terrorist activity.
EU officials are yet to comment on these findings. However, if the European Union were to recognize the validity of this evidence, any funds coming out of Brussels would quickly dry up. According to the European Commission, “[EU] rules make the participation of entities, individuals or groups affiliated, linked or supporting terrorist organizations incompatible with EU funding.”
Prior to the publication of this report, Tel Aviv felt that Brussels was deliberately ignoring the evidence it provides in order to avoid dealing with the uncomfortable issue. However, NGO Monitor’s current report is not based on classified intelligence, so the EU will have to address it eventually. As Professor Gerald Steinberg, the president of NGO Monitor 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. There is no excuse for this blind abuse of taxpayer funds. Even without any classified intelligence, NGO Monitor’s report presents clear open-source information that clearly reveals the links between the PFLP and European-funded NGOs. Instead of ignoring the facts, it is time for European governments to act responsibly.