Subject: Dutch Grant to Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and Arrest of NGO Employee on Terror Charges
October 10, 2019
Dear Foreign Minister Mr. Stef Blok
CC: Minister of Development: Sigrid Kaag
Ambassador to Israel: Hans Docter
Chair, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation: Raymond de Roon
We are writing regarding Dutch Government grant to Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), a Palestinian non-governmental organization (NGO) closely linked to the EU-designated terror group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
According to media reports, on August 23, 2019, Israel arrested Samer Arbid who led a PFLP terror cell and prepared and detonated an explosive device, murdering 17-year old Rina Shnerb and injuring her father and brother.1 Arbid served as the “financial director of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees in the West Bank” for the PFLP-linked Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) in 2016.2 It appears Arbid had ties to UAWC until 2019.3
Given your government’s role as a donor, NGO Monitor has the following questions:
- Can you confirm the amounts, years, and projects of funding provided to UAWC?
- What vetting does Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs undertake to ensure that taxpayer funds are not provided to organizations connected to armed groups?
- What steps will the Government take in light of these developments?
- Alon Einhron, “Security Forces Arrest Terrorists Who Murdered Rina Shnerb,” The Jerusalem Post, September 29, 2019: https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/IDF-Police-arrest-terrorists-who-murdered-Rina-Shnerb-603218
- Samidoun, “Palestinian land defender’s imprisonment without charge or trial extended by Israeli military occupation,” March 14, 2016: https://samidoun.net/2016/03/palestinian-land-defenders-imprisonment-without-charge-or-trial-extended-by-israeli-military-occupation/
- UAWC, Facebook, March 21, 2019: https://www.facebook.com/uawcpal/photos/a.194160117304192/2118876701499181/?type=3&theater