Israeli Authorities Confirm: PFLP-linked NGOs Diverted Funds to the Terror Group
On May 6, 2021, Israeli security officials revealed that massive amounts of funding from European governments for supposedly humanitarian projects in the West Bank and Gaza were diverted to the PFLP terrorist organization. A series of NGO grantees – at this point only Health Work Committees (HWC) has been made public – fabricated aid projects in order to channel funds to the PFLP and to support its terror activities.
According to the Israeli Security Agency (Shabak), NGOs tied to the PFLP, including HWC, implemented an elaborate scheme that included “reporting fictitious projects, presenting false documents, forgery and inflating invoices and receipts… forging bank documents and bank seals,” and a variety of other methods.
This was done in order to provide money for “the families of PFLP ‘martyrs’, salaries of PFLP members, recruitment of new members, advancing terror activity,” amongst other purposes.
As revealed previously by NGO Monitor, 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 Committee’s Ties to the PFLP Terrorist Organization.”)
Notably, HWC finance and administration manager Walid Hanatsheh, is already on trial for allegedly leading PFLP “military” operations and commanding the PFLP terror cell that murdered an Israeli civilian in an August 2019 bombing attack. Following his arrest, the PFLP labeled Hanatsheh a “leader in the Popular Front.”
- HWC’s 2018 donors and partners include: Austria, European Union, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Japan, NGO Development Center, Diakonia, DanChurchAid, ICCO (Netherlands), Medical Aid for Palestinian (MAP), SODePAZ, MIFTAH, Oxfam, and the United Nations.
- In 2020, HWC received $305,504 from the UN OCHA occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund to “Increase Access to Essential Health Services for Marginalized Communities in Hebron.”
- In 2020, HWC was a partner on a $670,000 grant from the UN’s oPt Humanitarian Fund to CARE International, and was a partner on $300,000 grant from the Humanitarian Fund to ACTED.
- In 2017-2019, the European Commission granted €699,236 to a consortium of Palestinian NGOs, including HWC, for a project titled “strengthening community resilience and social cohesion in East Jerusalem on both sides of the separation wall.” Other NGOs with ties to the PFLP included Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P), Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC), and the Bisan Center for Research and Development Association.
- In 2017-2020, HWC received $3.7 million from Sweden.
- In March 2018, HWC reported that it conducted “a two-day training workshop on the mechanisms of lobbying and advocacy and their applications” that was conducted “with the support of the German International Cooperation (GIZ).”
- In 2015-2018, Belgium (Directorate-General for Development Cooperation; DGD) provided HWC and its “sister organization” Union of Health Works Committees (UHWC) with €605,714 via the Belgian NGO Viva Salud (formerly Third World Health Aid).
- In 2014-2018, Spain granted €640,610 to HWC for “strengthening community resistance and Palestinian social cohesion in east Jerusalem” as part of the Kanan project, which is dedicated to strengthening “the social and political participation channels of the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem through enhancing the capacity of the youth.” The project is implemented by six NGOs, including UPWC, DCI-P, Alternative Information Center (AIC), and Bisan.