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.


Information, Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA)

  • 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).
  • In 2023, NRC received $3,552,577 from the UK, for its ICLA project. Implementing partners include Jerusalem Legal Aid Centre (JLAC), Society of St Yves, HaMoked, Yesh Din, Bimkom, Land Research Center, and Ma’an Development Center.
    • The full scope of NRC’S partners is unknown as the United Kingdom refuses to disclose sub-grantees. Additionally, the NRC has lobbied donor governments and the United Nations to be non-transparent regarding its funding sources.
  • In 2023-2024, NRC, alongside Society of St Yves and Bimkom, received $300,000 from the OCHA-oPt Humanitarian Fund for ICLA.
  • Included in ICLA’s program goals is “supporting the PA both locally and nationally on casework” and works with “other NRC core competences, West Bank Protection Consortium partners, and UN OCHA, as well as with local authorities and village councils.”
  • As part of the ICLA program, NRC provides “legal assistance, including paralegal services, accompaniment, follow up or court representation in order to ensure the best possible individual legal protection outcomes” in “collaboration, coordination and partnership both internally within NRC and externally with NGO sector… and with the PA with a view to address some of the barriers to participation of the hard to reach population in ICLA response.”
  • Through its Palestinian and Israeli partner NGOs and private lawyers, the ICLA program submits between 500-800 new cases to Israeli courts per year.
  • 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).
  • According to its 2023 ICLA project response plan, “In 2023, NRC Information, Counselling and Legal aid team (ICLA) will target 17,583 Palestinians identified as affected by conflict-related violations and protection risks such as conflict-related violence, risk of forcible transfer, restrictions on freedom of movement and access to services, including livelihoods and settler violence.”

Other 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.”)
  • In November 2022, NRC welcomed the UN General Assembly resolution calling on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to render an advisory opinion on the “legal status of the occupation,” claiming, “it is the time for the International Court of Justice to revisit its 2004 advisory opinion and to correct the legal errors made then. This requires a pressure from the global civil society on their countries and the General Assembly to finally refer the case to the ICJ for a new advisory opinion that shall recognize the non derogatable right of self-determination for Palestinians not subjective to negotiations.”
    • In November 2022, NRC Senior Humanitarian Law and Policy Consultant Itay Epshtain tweeted “#Israel’s fear that the @CIJ_ICJ Advisory Opinion will liberate #Palestinians from having to wait on it to end occupation on its own terms (or rather, continue to entrench and prolong it) is precisely what we hope the Court would opine. Self-determination is non-negotiable.”
  • 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 October 2023, NRC Secretary General Jan Egeland tweeted, “Numerous reports of hundreds killed at the Baptist Hospital in Gaza. Women & children sought refuge here. Attacks at hospitals are war crimes. If true, the US cannot support Israel’s military campaign. There is no distinction, precaution nor proportionality, as the law requires.” Egeland ignored the videos, images, and intelligence materials demonstrating that an Islamic Jihad rocket had “misfired” (i.e. detonated in Gaza instead of Israel) and hit the hospital parking lot.
  • In July 2022, NRC held a workshop with the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee on the “impact of Israeli violations on the economic situation in the old city of Hebron.”
  • 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 from governmental and intergovernmental donors for its work in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza

European UnionNOK 39,917,000NOK 28,765,000NOK 28,096,000NOK 22,626,000
Germany (GIZ)NOK 3,011,000NOK 809,000NOK 705,000
UK (FCDO)NOK 51,004,000NOK 30,647,000NOK 24,544,000NOK 21,276,000
Norway (MFA)NOK 19,545,000NOK 19,019,000NOK 12,785,000NOK 11,988,000
UN-OCHANOK 4,861,000NOK 10,745,000NOK 2,150,000
SwedenNOK 6,587,000NOK 11,927,000NOK 6,412,000NOK 6,726,000
Norway (NORAD)NOK 5,728,000NOK 7,467,000NOK 3,020,000NOK 2,000,000
UNNOK 82,000
UNHCRNOK 2,000NOK 198,000
OthersNOK 13,955,000NOK 10,119,000NOK 12,663,000NOK 26,921,000
TotalNOK 145,698,000NOK 120,979,000NOK 100,453,000NOK 93,769,000


NRC Funding to Israeli NGOs (amounts in NIS)

2019-2023 amounts based amounts based on financial reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits

Ir Amim454,246173,949
Yesh Din67,0051,032,768656,060920,504502,230

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