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.


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).
  • NRC’s partners submit between 600-800 new cases to Israeli courts per year. From 2009-2014, NRC and its political NGO partners St. YvesJerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC), HaMoked, Yesh Din, and Community Action Centre (CAC), as well as private lawyers, “provided legal representation in court for 4,069 cases.”
    • In 2019 NRC claimed that “22,454 people benefited from our ICLA programme.”
    • In 2018, “beneficiary targets” included “5,399 opened and continuing cases for legal assistance in the West Bank (West Bank 1162 new and 4237 continuing).” The project also involved “EU, UN and Third State lobbying.”
  • 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 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 22,626,000NOK 26,775,000 NOK 42,901,000
UK (FCO)NOK 21,276,000 NOK 33,690,000 NOK 31,921,000
Norway (MFA)NOK 11,988,000 NOK 10,000,000 NOK 11,000,000
UN-OCHANOK 2,150,000 NOK 6,177,000
SwedenNOK 6,726,000 NOK 5,520,000 NOK 8,746,000
SwitzerlandNOK 1,738,000 NOK 4,650,000
Norway (NORAD)NOK 2,000,000 NOK 2,000,000 NOK 2,500,000
UNNOK 82,000NOK 978,000 NOK 2,884,000
UNHCRNOK 70,000,000
OthersNOK 26,921,000 NOK 23,524,000 NOK 18,949,000
TotalNOK 93,769,000 NOK 104,225,000 NOK 129,797,000

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