Dear Minister Stef Blok,
We write to you regarding evidence that we have uncovered, showing that a Dutch government grantee is linked to a terrorist organization. Similar concerns have been discussed intensively across Europe over the last couple of months. For example, on May 19, Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi stated during a meeting of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET), that he had instructed the heads of EU delegations to Israel and West Bank/ Gaza to “look deep” in to the allegations that some EU funds go to terror-linked or -supporting NGOs, declaring that such funding “will not be tolerated.”
In the Dutch context, the Netherlands is providing the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) with $11.25 million for “the second phase of the Land and Water Resource Management program” (2017-2021). UAWC is a Palestinian NGO with reported ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), an EU designated terror organization.
At least three senior UAWC employees, including the current and former financial officers, were arrested as part of a 50-person terror network that operated in the West Bank by the PFLP. Two of them are currently on trial for their direct involvement in an August 2019 bombing attack in which a 17-year-old Israeli was murdered. The indicted individuals include:
Samer Arbid: UAWC ’s accountant and previously its “financial officer.” Arbid is on trial for commanding a PFLP terror cell that carried out the August 2019 bombing attack. According to the indictment against him (on file), Arbid prepared and detonated the explosive device.
Abdel Razeq Farraj: UAWC’s “Finance and Administration Director.” According to his indictment (on file), Razeq Farraj held a senior PFLP post and authorized the August 2019 bombing.
Ubai Aboudi: Apparently UAWC’s “M&E [Monitoring and Evaluation] Officer” until April 2019. In Abdel Razeq Farraj’s indictment, Aboudi is referred to a PFLP member who met with Farraj in September 2019, when Farraj told Aboudi to recruit additional members to the cell. In June 2020, Aboudi was sentenced to 12-months in prison.
Our research, publically available at www.ngo-monitor.org, shows a direct connection between individuals employed by or serving on the board of this NGO, and the PFLP terror organization.
We urge the Netherlands to take necessary measures and, like the EU, launch an investigation in order to prevent the abuse of development funds by those involved in or supporting terror organizations.
Prof Gerald M. Steinberg Olga Deutsch
President Vice President