Last week, MEMRI published a report on “Incitement To Terrorism By Palestinian Civil Society Organizations That Receive Foreign Funding.” This analysis piece presents five Palestinian NGOs, which receive significant funding from Western countries and foundations, and that openly support terrorism and/or exalt individuals who carry out terror attacks against civilians.
One of the NGOs is the Palestinian Bar Association (PBA). The PBA is a statutory body that regulates the practice of law in the Palestinian Authority. In October 2015, the PBA awarded an honorary law degree to Muhammad Halabi, who killed two Israelis and injured two others, including a 2- year old child, in a stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem. The PBA referred to Halabi as a “Heroic Martyr.” Additionally, the PBA announced that all legal institutions in the Ramallah and Al-Bireh areas would be closed on November 2, 2015, to allow for all members to participate in the funerals of two individuals who were killed while attempting to carry out terrorist attacks. The bar association referred to these men as “hero martyrs.”
The European Union is PBA’s primary funder, and the EU flag and symbols appear on the majority of PBA publications. In 2013, the EU provided the PBA with a grant of €21 million “to build new courthouses and headquarters for Palestinian Bar Association.” In July 2015, the EU wrote in its “Commission Implementing Decision” that it is considering a grant for the PBA that would give “[S]upport to the lawyers’ community in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.” The exact amount to be allocated to PBA was not made public.
Other groups identified by MEMRI include The Popular Art Centre, Shabab Al-Balad Youth Forum, The Handala Cultural Center, and Al-Nahda Rural Society. According to MEMRI, these groups openly express support for terrorism, posting messages referring to terrorists as “martyrs,” publicly celebrating their actions and asking the public to pray on their behalves. They also receive significant amounts of funding from European countries, mechanisms of the United Nations, and international foundations.