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.
- According to NRC, its overall budget for its Israel, West Bank, and Gaza specific programs in 2018 is $12 million.
- According to UN-OCHA, in 2016-2017, NRC received $35.4 million in government funding for projects in the region.
- Donors include the European Union, United Kingdom, Norway, Belgium, Sweden, Spain, France, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, and Luxembourg.
- From 2013-2016, the UK provided NRC with £1.4 million specifically for cases that “challenged demolitions or evictions.”
- According to NRC’s 2016 annual report, governments provided $12.6 million to programs in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza (see further funding information below).
Political Advocacy in Courts
- 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. Yves, Jerusalem 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 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.”
- In 2017, ICLA’s “beneficiary targets” included “3628 opened and continuing cases for legal assistance in the West Bank (West Bank 612 new and 3016 continuing),” as well as “40 advocacy briefings given on specific HLP [Housing, Land, and Property] and residency issues (verbal or written), 10 of instances information is submitted to other UN mechanisms, and 75 public interest cases challenging unjust HLP issues
- 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)
- 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).
- In April 2018, NRC contractor Yasser Murtaja was killed in the violence on the Gaza border. According to news reports, Murtaja was revealed to be a Hamas activist. An April 9 NRC statement notes, “Yasser Murtaja…had agreed to document for NRC the bitter prolonged struggle faced by Palestinian refugees in Gaza. The work was planned to start the day after he was killed.”
- 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’s “Implementing Partners” include: Jerusalem Legal Aid Centre (JLAC), Society of St Yves, HaMoked, Yesh Din, Bimkom, Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (PCDCR), Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), and Al-Mezan.
- Due to a lack of transparency, there is limited information regarding amounts disbursed to NRC’s implementing partners. Details on Israeli NGOs are available based on quarterly financial documents submitted by the recipients to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits. Details on Palestinian NGOs are based on independent research.
- HaMoked– (NIS 4,191,752, 2016-2018). In 2018, NRC provided Hamoked with NIS 258,813 for “Protection of residency for Palestinians in East Jerusalem” and NIS 268,844 for “Protection of the freedom of movement for Palestinians.”
- Bimkom– (NIS 316,506; 2016-2018). In 2018, Bimkom received NIS 122,116 for “Planning rights in Area C.”
- Bimkom regularly criticizes Israeli planning policies and obstacles created by the security barrier, while completely omitting the context of terror.
- Yesh Din– (NIS 1,929,193; 2016-2018). In 2018, Yesh Din received NIS 145,323 for projects on law enforcement and land issues.
- Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC) – ($576,431 in 2016)
- JLAC is highly active in promoting BDS campaigns, lobbies international bodies, and utilizes highly inflammatory rhetoric, including accusations of “collective punishment,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “apartheid,” as well as supporting a Palestinian “right of return.”
- In 2015, the Palestinian Bar Association, in cooperation with the NRC, had training course for lawyers on housing, land and property issues in Area C and East Jerusalem The training was implemented through lawyers from NRC and the JLAC.
- Society of St Yves – (amount unknown)
- Accuses Israel of “discriminatory policies” and “breach[ing] international law,” and claims that “[Palestinian] land [is] swallowed up by the Israeli armed forces.”
- Founder Michel Sabbah authored (together with Naim Ateek of Sabeel and Atallah Hanna) the 2009 Kairos Palestine document, which calls to mobilize churches worldwide in the call for BDS, compares Israel with the South African apartheid regime, and denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel in theological terms.
- St. Yves accuses Israel of enforcing laws aimed at “limiting the number of Palestinian in Jerusalem.”
- Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (amount unknown)
- PCHR is a leader in anti-Israel lawfare campaigns, minimizes or ignores Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians, and presents a distorted version of the conflict based only on the Palestinian narrative.
- PCHR regularly describes Israel’s policies as “apartheid” and accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “war crimes,” and the “Judaization of Jerusalem.”
- PCHR has submitted various documents to the International Criminal Court (ICC), accusing Israel with committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.
- PCHR’s founder and director, Raji Sourani, was “prohibited from leaving Palestine (sic) from 1977 to 1990.” According to a 1995 article in the Washington Report, Raji Sourani served “a three-year sentence [1979-1982] imposed by an Israeli court which convicted him of membership in the illegal Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine…” He was also denied a US entry visa in 2012. Sourani was imprisoned an additional three times “in 1985 and 1986…” and held in administrative detention in 1988. From 1986 to 1987 he was “restricted from legal work for one year by an Israeli military decision issued by the Israeli Military Governor.”
- In February 2014, the PFLP organized a ceremony in Gaza honoring Sourani for winning the “Alternative Noble (sic) Prize.”
- Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (PCDCR) – ($60,000 in 2016)
- Refers to Palestinians as “victims of Gaza holocaust,” accuses Israel of “state terrorism,” and participates in discriminatory campaigns such as “Love in the Time of Apartheid Campaign: The Palestinian Campaign for Repealing Israel’s Racist Law Denying Family Reunification.”
- Together with Al Mezan, signed a “Joint Call to Action: July 2014 – Month against the Apartheid Wall,” that states “it is time for a ‘legal intifada’, an intensified popular struggle and more boycotts, divestment and sanctions. It is time for accountability…to overcome Israeli apartheid, colonialism and occupation. We ask you to expand and deepen the global BDS movement for justice…”
- In July 2012, PCDCR hosted a conference titled “Together the Nation and the Future” which featured Ahmed Yousef, a senior Hamas official.
- In February 2010, PCDCR hosted an event with Hamas official Ismail Radwan, Nafetheze Azam, leader of the Islamic Jihad, and Kayed al Ghoul, a senior official of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). All three of these movements are terrorist organizations recognized as such by the U.S., EU, Canada, and Israel.
- PCDCR is a partner of Norwegian People’s Aid, an organization charged with violating the US False Claims Act for providing material support to Iran and Palestinian terror groups. According to Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman: “For years, Norwegian People’s Aid obtained grant money from USAID by falsely representing that it had not provided, and would take reasonable steps to ensure that it did not knowingly provide, material support to prohibited parties under U.S. law.” In the settlement, NPA agreed to a fine of $2.025 million.
- Al-Mezan– (amount unknown)
- Highly active in anti-Israel lawfare campaigns, exploiting courts and international legal bodies to seek arrest warrants against Israeli government officials; files lawsuits against companies and governments doing business with Israel, and lobbies for cases against Israelis at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
NRC Funding from governmental and intergovernmental donors for its work in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza
|Donor||Approx. Amount in USD
(Exact amount, NOK)
|Total||$12.6 million (99,173,452 NOK)
|European Union||$3.3 million (23,422,452 NOK)
|UK||$2.2 million (17,915,000 NOK)
|Norway (MFA)||$1.6 million (13,488,000 NOK)
|UN-OCHA||$856,964 (6,660,000 NOK)
|Sweden||$748,120 (5,812,000 NOK)
|Switzerland||$562,635 (4,371,000 NOK)
|Norway (NORAD)||$320,236 (2,488,000 NOK)
|UNICEF||$248,468 (1,931,000 NOK)
|UN||$86,211 (670,000 NOK)
|UNHCR||$5,000 (41,000 NOK)
|Others||$2.7 million (22,375,000 NOK)
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