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The Netherlands stopped funding NGO because of alleged association with PFLP

Jerusalem24 – The Netherlands announced that it would stop funding the Palestinian NGO, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, due to alleged “individual links” with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which the United States and the European Union consider a “terrorist” organization.

The Union of Agricultural Work Committees is one of six Palestinian NGOs that Israel added to its list of terrorist organizations at the end of October because of its alleged links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The NGO expressed its “shock” and “sadness” at the Dutch government’s decision, while Israel was quick to welcome it.

The Dutch government said in a letter to Parliament that “the individual links between the UAWC and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the lack of openness in this area on the part of the UAWC (…) is a sufficient reason for not funding UAWC activities.”

The government clarified that the external investigation on which this decision was based did not prove the existence of “organizational links between the Union of Agricultural Work Committees and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.” Nor did it prove the existence of “financial transfers between the Union of Agricultural Work Committees and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.”

In September 2019, the Israeli authorities arrested two men suspected of involvement in a bombing in the West Bank that killed a 17-year-old Israeli girl, in an attack attributed to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The two suspects, who are still under investigation, were working for the Union of Agricultural Work Committees.

After their arrest, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees dismissed these two employees and informed the Dutch authorities of the reason for their arrest in Israel, stressing that neither of them participated in activities funded by the Netherlands.

However, in 2020, the Dutch government suspended funding for this organization after it found out that the two suspects were receiving part of their salaries in the form of general expenses, and it also opened an external investigation to determine whether there were organizational links between the Union of Agricultural Work Committees and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The Dutch government was “particularly concerned” by the large number (12) of UAWC board members associated with the PFLP.

The Union of Agricultural Work Committees quickly expressed its shock and sadness at the Dutch government’s decision, stressing that “from the beginning, this investigation was motivated by political considerations.”

The Union of Agricultural Work Committees is a non-governmental organization that helps small Palestinian farmers and since 2007 has received funding from the Netherlands.

Below the statement released by the Union of Agricultural Work Committees:

 

Mohammad Hamayel

Ramallah based journalist, Mohammad graduated from Al-Quds University with a B.A. in Media and Television. He has covered the 2015 Jerusalem Intifada as well as the Great March of Return for international media outlets. currently an editor/presenter at Jerusalem24. A UN alumni and a follower of global events and politics, especially American affairs.

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