Health Work Committees (HWC)


In June 2015, Israel’s Defense Minister declared that “the group of people or institutions or association known as the ‘Union of Health Work Committees-Jerusalem [HWC]’…or any other name that this association will be known by, including all of its factions and any branch, center, committee or group of this association is an unauthorized association, as defined by the Defense Regulations” (emphasis added).

In January 2020, HWC was designated by Israel as a terrorist organization,

Numerous HWC staff members, founders, board members, general assembly members, and senior staff members have ties to the PFLP terror group. For more information on HWC’s PFLP ties, read NGO Monitor’s report “Health Work Committees’ Ties to the PFLP Terror Group.”


Country/TerritoryPalestinian Authority
In their own wordsThe Health Work Committees functions in a Rights-Based Approach providing Health Services to all segments of the Palestinian Population, particularly the poor and the marginalized; building development models, and; lobbying and advocating in support of favorable policies and legislations.



  • The Health Work Committee (HWC) is a Palestinian health organization that is active in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

HWC Ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)

  • On June 9, 2015, Israel’s Defense Minister declared that “the group of people or institutions or association known as the ‘Union of Health Work Committees-Jerusalem’…or ‘Health Work Committees’…or any other name that this association will be known by, including all of its factions and any branch, center, committee or group of this association is an unauthorized association, as defined by the Defense Regulations” (emphasis added, p.6489).
  • In January 2020, HWC was designated by Israel as a terrorist organization,
  • On July 7, 2021, Israel arrested HWC General Director Shatha Odeh for her alleged involvement in terror activity. Following her arrest, the IDF closed HWC’s offices for six months.
    • Odeh also serves as the head of the board of the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO). Multiple PNGO officials have ties to terrorist organizations, and at least five PNGO members have ties to EU-designated terror organizations, including through their employees and/or board members who are directly involved in activities and programs.
  • In May 2021, Israeli authorities announced that four officials from HWC had been arrested for terror related activities including diverting European aid to the PFLP terror group. 
    • According to Israeli authorities, the “Popular Front organizations (PFLP-affiliated NGOs) deceived assistance organizations in Europe using various methods – reporting fictitious projects, transferring false documents, forging and inflating invoices, diverting tenders, forging bank documents and signatures, reporting inflated salaries, etc. The considerable financing that was received was transferred – inter alia – to payments for the families of Popular Front ‘martyrs’, salaries for militants, recruiting new members, advancing and strengthening terrorist activity, funding Popular Front militants in Jerusalem and the dissemination of Popular Front messages and ideology” (emphasis added).
  • On May 6, 2021, the Israeli authorities announced the pending indictment of three current and one former HWC employees suspected of defrauding European countries of millions of euros by fabricating aid projects in order to channel funds to the PFLP and to support its terror activities.
    • The individuals arrested are HWC accountant, Tayseer Abu Sharbak; Said Abdat, who previously worked as an accountant for the HWC; Amro Hamouda, the former head of purchasing for the HWC; and Juanna Sanchez Rishmawi, who was responsible for fundraising for the organization in Europe.
  • HWC’s Youth Development Program, “A community, cultural, and social development program that provide services to Jerusalemite youth through ‘Nidal Center,’” was shut down by Israeli authorities from 2009 to 2012 because, in the words of the Jerusalem District Court, it served as “a place of action of the [PFLP] organization.” The Nidal Center also houses HWC’s Kanan project, a program implemented by six political NGOs, five of which have reported ties to the PFLP.1
  • In 2016, the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ-3923/15), stated that “based on credible information, the PFLP carried out activity in the apartment, under the aegis of an organization named the ‘Union of Health Work Committees-Jerusalem,’ which later was also declared a terrorist organization” (emphasis added).
  • The relationship between HWC and Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC) is unclear, but the two have been referred to as “sister organization[s].” UHWC is a PFLP affiliated health committee active in Gaza, as identified by USAID and in Palestinian documents.

HWC Staff Ties to the PFLP

Political Advocacy

  • Has stated that it holds “The United States of American and all the supporter of the Zionist terrorist against the Palestinian nation, accountable for what all is happening and we consider it a partner in the crime,” and refers to Israeli actions as “collective punishment.”
  • Has accused Israel of a “policy of gradual, systemic ethnic cleaning against the citizens of Jerusalem,” which is “in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”
  • Promotes “Nakba” rhetoric and a Palestinian “right of return.”
  • In October 2023, in the aftermath of the brutal Hamas attack on October 7, HWC was a signatory on a statement calling to “emphasize that the root causes of these events is the illegal occupation of Palestine by Israel.” According to the statement, “We consider the flagrant unconditional support the U.S and European officials are offering Israel occupation while ignoring the plight of the Palestinian people as complicity in Israeli human rights violations and crimes against humanity, including the crime of apartheid. It is the international community’s failure to hold the Israel occupation accountable for its crimes that have led to the current situation.”
  • In October 2023, HWC was a signatory on a statement demanding that the “EU leadership must put an end to its double standards and complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.” According to the statement, “For violence to end, European leaders must address and eradicate the root causes of the ongoing violence, namely, Israel’s seven-decade long settler-colonial enterprise and oppression of the Palestinian people…The EU must intervene to ensure that Israel dismantles its discriminatory apartheid regime, including by rescinding all discriminatory laws and facilitating the right of return and to self-determination of the Palestinian people…The resounding silence of the EU leadership on Israeli atrocities committed in Gaza and their blind support for Israel signals that the EU is green-lighting, enabling and encouraging Israel’s military actions, which already may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and incitement to commit genocide.”
  • In May 2023, following comments by the EU Commission President celebrating Israel’s Independence Day, HWC was a signatory on a statement accusing the president of “using racist anti-Palestinian tropes and denying Palestinian history and the atrocities of the Nakba.”
  • In November 2022, HWC was a signatory on a letter to the ICC Prosecutor to “Urgently expedite his investigation into the Situation of Palestine, including the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.” 
  • In May 2020, on the occasion of the “72nd anniversary of the Nakba,” HWC published an article accusing Israel of “pain and terrorism supported and covered by the most powerful international imperialist empires represented by the United States” (emphasis added).
  • In May 2019, to commemorate Nakba Day, HWC released a statement referring to “Zionist gangs in 1948” and accusing them of “murder, displacement, hunger, and exile.”
  • In July 2018, Laura Roger, a member of HWC, participated in the Freedom Flotilla that set sail from Italy with the aim of “end[ing] the siege” of Gaza and “demand[ing] an end to our governments’ complicity with Israel’s war crimes and violation of human rights.”
  • In May 2018, during the violence on the Gaza border, HWC condemned the “serious violations of human rights by the Israeli occupation forces and the violations of international humanitarian law, including those related to war crimes as a result of the military escalation against unarmed civilians in the besieged Gaza Strip and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” HWC ignored the violent nature of the protests, which have consisted of an organized armed attack on the Israeli border and IDF positions, attempts to destroy and breach the border fence, and sustained arson, rocket, and mortar attacks on Israeli civilian communities.
  • In an open letter (titled “Stop the Genocide”) written during the 2014 Gaza war, HWC alleged, “The innocent citizens of the Gaza Strip have been facing terrifying genocide committed against them by the Israeli occupying forces.” The letter called for the “Palestinian Authority to submit lawsuits to international courts and organizations to bring criminal Zionists to trial.”
  • Refers to a terror wave that began in October 2015 as “the Jerusalem Uprising ‘Al-Quds’” and called on organizations to “submit lawsuit drafts to the International Criminal Court” against Israel.

BDS Activities


2014-2021 Funding to HWC

European UnionImplementing partner on a €699,236 project2017
AVCD (Spain)€514,8372014-2016
Al Quds Association (Spain)€7,7502017
Viva Salud (Belgium)€178,4762018
Individuell Människohjälp (Sweden)SEK 743,9482017
SEK 883,1792016
Municipality of San Sebastian€11,6302018-2020
Provincial council of Gipuzkoa€40,0002019-2020
Municipality of Málaga€14,5952019
Provincial Council of Málaga€35,5992019
DGD (Belgium)Implementing partner on a €1,414,461 project2014-2021


  1. The Kanan project NGO partners are DCI–PAlternative Information Center (AIC), UPWC, Bisan, the Spanish NGO Mundubat, and HWC.

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