Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)




  • According to its website, “The Norwegian Refugee Council is an independent humanitarian organisation helping people forced to flee.”
  • Operates in 31 countries, with Head Office in Oslo. NRC has been active in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza since 2009 and has offices in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Hebron, and Gaza.
  • In Israel, NRC is registered with an “International Humanitarian Visa” authorized by the Ministry of Social Services.


Political Advocacy in Courts

  • Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) leads massive and unprecedented political campaigns exploiting the Israeli legal system. In sharp contrast to NRC’s ostensibly humanitarian agenda, this massive program focuses on some of the most complex and sensitive political issues in the Arab-Israeli context. (Read NGO Monitor’s report “Flooding the Courts: The Norwegian Refugee Council’s European-Funded Proxy War.”)
  • One of NRC’s principle projects in Israel, “Information, Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA),” exploits judicial frameworks to manipulate Israeli policy, bypassing democratic frameworks. NRC’s legal projects are funded mainly by Norway, the European Union (EU), and the United Kingdom (UK).
    • Included in ICLA’s program goals is “supporting the PA both locally and nationally on casework.”
    • In a 2018 funding appeal, the NRC noted that its “ICLA programme and the PA are jointly the largest provider of legal aid services within Area C. There exists a referral mechanism that enables ICLA and partners to receive referrals from the PA, notably cases involving demolition and eviction orders…”
  • Through its Palestinian and Israeli partner NGOs and private lawyers, the ICLA program submits between 500-800 new cases to Israeli courts per year. 
    • According to a 2019 NRC document, “targets under the project will be … 3,875 opened and continuing cases for legal assistance in the West Bank (West Bank 534 new and 3,341 continuing).”
  • A lawyer affiliated with the NRC program stated that the objective of these cases are an attempt to “try every possible legal measure to disrupt the Israeli judicial system… as many cases as possible are registered and that as many cases as possible are appealed to increase the workload of the courts and the Supreme Court to such an extent that there will be a blockage.” (emphasis added)
  • In addition to ICLA, NRC’s “legal assistance” and “policy change advocacy” are also part of a joint mechanism known as the “West Bank Protection Consortium.” The Consortium argues that “bringing together international agencies from different countries provides the potential to leverage more diverse political and financial support [collaborate] between the INGOs … creates an opportunity to mobilize broader and coordinated political support from diplomats in country and in the capitals of respective INGOs….” Many ICLA cases are “partially funded through the Consortium.”
    • Through the Consortium, NRC works with partner NGOs to “transform policies and practices” and to “ensure effective and timely political interventions by the UN and Third States.” These partners include ACTED, Première Urgence Internationale (PUI) Gruppo di Volontariato Civile (GVC), and Action Against Hunger.
  • NRC also leads the “Legal Task Force,” a mechanism of the UN, which coordinates legal responses by 14 Palestinian, Israeli, and international NGOs. An NRC funding appeal notes the close relationship between the UN humanitarian aid framework, the PA, and NRC, explaining that “Legal aid interventions will be coordinated with the PA thru the Legal Task Force” (emphasis added).

Ties to Terrorism

Anti-Israel Activities

  • In May 2021, in the context of the 2021 Gaza conflict, NRC published a press release calling on Israel to “stop this madness: children must be protected. Their homes must not be targets. Schools must not be targets. Spare these children and their families. Stop bombing them now.” NRC ignored that a central aspect of Hamas’ and Islamic Jihad’s strategy is to shield their military operations and terror infrastructure within civilian areas. This includes: firing rockets from within population centers, constructing a vast network of tunnels under these same areas, and hiding munitions in homes and (what would otherwise be) civilian buildings.
  • In November 2020, NRC published “Raided and Razed: Attacks on West Bank Education,” alleging “296 attacks against education by Israeli forces or settlers and settlement private security guards” in January 2008 – June 2020. “Attacks on education” is not a legal term; it was invented by NGOs to broaden the UN definition of “attacks on schools and hospitals” and is used in the context of Palestinians with the cynical objective of including Israel on the Secretary-General’s on the list of the world’s worst violators of children’s rights. NRC lists a litany of non-violent incidents under this heading, most related only tangentially at best to schooling and education.(For more information, see NGO Monitor’s analysis, “Norwegian Refugee Council Report on Children – Political Attacks Funded by the EU.”)
  • In April 2018, NRC released a statement calling “the deadly force used by the Israeli military against the people of Gaza” during the violence on the Gaza border a “gross violation of their protections under humanitarian and human rights law.” The statement ignored the violent nature of the protests, which included Molotov cocktails, arson, and attempts to breach the border fence with Israel.
  • In June 2017, NRC held an event in Geneva titled “The Disintegration of Occupation: Rule of Law in Protracted Belligerent Occupation” featuring Professor Michael Lynk, UN Special Rapporteur “on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967.” At the event, Lynk ignored the context of violence and terrorism under which Israel implements security measures and completely fabricated the number of checkpoints that exist, claiming that there are approximately “200-300 checkpoints. Every time a Palestinian tries to leave Area A or B [of the West Bank] to leave they are going through multiple checkpoints.”
  • In July 2015, NRC uploaded a video, “End the Nightmares,” promoting Association of International Development Agencies’s (AIDA) #OpenGaza campaign. The propaganda film depicts unprovoked Israeli soldiers attacking smiling Palestinian protesters, including women and children, with gas grenades, rubber bullets, and live ammunition.
  • In statements during the 2014 Gaza conflict, NRC declared that “Israel’s military offensive” has resulted in “forced displacement,” “restricting the movement of civilians and the ability of humanitarian actors to carry out even the most basic life-saving activities.” The publications present Israel as the aggressor, omitting the hundreds of indiscriminate Hamas missile and tunnel attacks targeting Israeli population centers.

NRC Funding to Political NGOs


NRC Funding from governmental and intergovernmental donors for its work in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza

European UnionNOK 28,765,000NOK 28,096,000NOK 22,626,000NOK 26,775,000 NOK 42,901,000
Germany (GIZ)NOK 809,000NOK 705,000
UK (FCDO)NOK 30,647,000NOK 24,544,000NOK 21,276,000 NOK 33,690,000 NOK 31,921,000
Norway (MFA)NOK 19,019,000NOK 12,785,000NOK 11,988,000 NOK 10,000,000 NOK 11,000,000
UN-OCHANOK 10,745,000NOK 2,150,000 NOK 6,177,000
SwedenNOK 11,927,000NOK 6,412,000NOK 6,726,000 NOK 5,520,000 NOK 8,746,000
SwitzerlandNOK 1,738,000 NOK 4,650,000
Norway (NORAD)NOK 7,467,000NOK 3,020,000NOK 2,000,000 NOK 2,000,000 NOK 2,500,000
UNNOK 82,000NOK 978,000 NOK 2,884,000
UNHCRNOK 198,000NOK 70,000,000
OthersNOK 10,119,000NOK 12,663,000NOK 26,921,000 NOK 23,524,000 NOK 18,949,000
TotalNOK 120,979,000NOK 100,453,000NOK 93,769,000 NOK 104,225,000 NOK 129,797,000


NRC Funding to Israeli NGOs (amounts in NIS)

2019-2022 amounts based amounts based on financial reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits

Yesh Din570,050656,060920,504502,230

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