Key Issue:NGO Links to Terror Groups
NGO Monitor research has uncovered that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – an internationally designated terrorist organization – has substantial ties to at a number European-funded Palestinian NGOs. Research shows that, in some cases, the NGOs were founded by the PFLP itself. In others, PFLP members serve as staff, on the boards, and in key decision making and financial roles at the NGOs. These include Addameer, Al-Dameer, Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P), Health Work Committees (HWC), Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), Samidoun, Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC), and Union of Palestinian Women Committees (UPWC).
Numerous NGOs are identified by government sources, academics, and/or other Palestinian groups as official affiliates of the PFLP terror group. For example, a 1993 USAID-engaged audit lists the Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC) as the coordinator of “the PFLP’s health care network,” the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) as providing “the PFLP’s agricultural extension services,” and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC) as the “PFLP’s women’s committee.” Fatah lists these three NGOs as PFLP “affiliates,” as well as the prisoner advocacy group Addameer. In 2015, Israel’s Minister of Defense, the Jerusalem District Court, and the Israeli High Court also noted the PFLP ties of Health Work Committees (HWC), UHWC’s “sister organization” in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
In addition to the NGOs with more formal connections to the PFLP, other groups regularly participate in PFLP events and/or advocate on behalf of PFLP terrorists.
Finally, staff members, founders, board members, general assembly members, and senior staff members from a number of NGOs have ties to the PFLP terror group. Some of these individuals are employed in financial positions at the NGOs, calling into question funding oversight by the EU, the UN, European governments and other donors, and increasing the risk of diversion of public funds to an internationally designated terrorist group.