Bisan Research & Development Center


Country/TerritoryPalestinian Authority
In their own words“In Bisan we continuously seek to enhance Palestinian’s resilience and to contribute in building an effective democratic civil society.”



  • In November 2023, Bisan published  an “Urgent Appeal to Protect Al-Shifa hospital and All Healthcare Facilities.” The statement completely ignored Hamas’ operations in hospitals and misrepresented the relevant provisions of international law claiming, “In times of war, the targeting or neglect of healthcare facilities not only violates international humanitarian law but also erodes the fundamental principles that form the backbone of our shared humanity…The deliberate targeting of hospitals is a blatant violation of these agreements and represents a reprehensible departure from International law and International humanitarian law.”
  • In November 2023, Bisan was a signatory on a letter to governments calling to “Recognise Israel’s colonial settlement enterprise as one policy designed to maintain an institutionalised regime of racial domination and oppression over the Palestinian people as a whole, and  address the root causes of Palestinian dispossession and domination, and the undermining of the individual and collective rights of the Palestinian people, inherent in Zionist settler colonialism,” and to “Recognise Israel’s judicial system as part and parcel of Israel’s apartheid regime, and provide full cooperation to the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC and the UN ongoing Commission of Inquiry, to ensure justice and accountability.”
  • In November 2023, Bisan was a signatory on a statement urging states to issue a “Two-Way Arms Embargo on Israel,” demanding that “The US, the UK, Germany, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands and other States that authorise the continued transfer of arms, and other forms of military support to Israel to immediately bring an end to such transfers…and immediately halt the provision of any materiel, equipment or other commodity that may foreseeably be used in the commission of serious international law violations including international crimes.” 
  • In October 2023, in the aftermath of the brutal Hamas attack on October 7, Bisan was a signatory on a statement calling to “emphasize that the root causes of these events is the illegal occupation of Palestine by Israel.” According to the statement, “We consider the flagrant unconditional support the U.S and European officials are offering Israel occupation while ignoring the plight of the Palestinian people as complicity in Israeli human rights violations and crimes against humanity, including the crime of apartheid. It is the international community’s failure to hold the Israel occupation accountable for its crimes that have led to the current situation.”
  • In May 2023, following comments by the EU Commission President celebrating Israel’s Independence Day, Bisan was a signatory on a statement accusing the president of “using racist anti-Palestinian tropes and denying Palestinian history and the atrocities of the Nakba.”
  • In April 2023, Bisan was a signatory on a letter to the United Nations Secretary-General urging the UN to reject the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. According to the letter, the IHRA definition “opens the door to labeling as antisemitic… findings of major Israeli, Palestinian and global human rights organizations that Israeli authorities are committing the crime against humanity of apartheid against Palestinians.”
    • The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, adopted by nearly 30 countries and counting, represents the international consensus definition of antisemitism, as well as how to distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and antisemitism. An example of the latter includes denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  • In November 2022, Bisan was a signatory on a letter to the ICC Prosecutor to “Urgently expedite his investigation into the Situation of Palestine, including the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”  In October 2023, Bisan was a signatory on a letter to ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan to “Issue Arrest Warrants, Investigate Israeli Crimes and Intervene to Deter Incitement to Commit Genocide in Gaza.”
  • In September 2022, Bisan was a signatory on a letter to the European Union to “review its decision to revive the Association Council Meeting, stop the recently signed gas deal and review its bilateral cooperation programmes.” According to the call, “Instead of allowing Israel to entrench its colonial enterprise and apartheid regime, rewarding it with further economic cooperation and trade of harmful military equipment and technologies, the EU and its Member States have an obligation, and interest, to hold Israel accountable and put an end to impunity.”
  • In September 2022, Bisan was a signatory on a joint statement urging the US government to condemn the decision by the Israeli Ministry to designate six Palestinian NGOs, including Bisan, as terrorist organizations. According to the letter, “Our organizations do vital human rights and humanitarian work that is necessary due to Israel’s decades-long belligerent occupation of Palestinian land that is actively and robustly supported by your administration.” The letter also called for the US to “End complicity and financial and diplomatic support to the Israeli apartheid regime.”
  • In August 2022, following criticism against the UN Commission of Inquiry’s use of antisemitic rhetoric, Bisan signed a joint statement “extend[ing] their full support and pledg[ing] their ongoing cooperation with the UN Commission of Inquiry on Palestine.” The statement affirmed that “the present Commission is a crucial step toward the recognition and remedy of Israel’s settler-colonial and apartheid regime as the root cause of Israel’s perpetual violations of international law in Palestine.”
    • In July 2022, Commissioner Miloon Kothari made antisemitic comments on a podcast, claiming that the “Jewish lobby” controls social media and questioned whether Israel should have UN membership. In a letter to UNHRC President Federico Villegas, Commissioner Navi Pillay refused to condemn Kothari’s remarks, stating his comments “have deliberately been taken out of context…[and] deliberately misquoted.” Dozens of countries, UN Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed, and HRC President Federico Villegas condemned these remarks.
  • In May 2022, Bisan was a signatory on a petition titled “The Return Appeal” calling on the United Nations to “take all necessary steps and measures for immediately holding the occupation’s state accountable for all the crimes, the latter has so far committed against the Palestinian people, within strict legal means that would not allow the occupation’s criminals to evade interrogation or possible trials.”
  • In February 2022, Bisan participated in an EU-funded conference titled ”Shrinking Civic Space for Palestinian Civil Society Organizations: Local and International Policies.” The conference included a workshop “focused on the strategies and mechanisms needed to combat counter-terrorism policies, regulations, and policies (sic)” (emphasis added).
  • In July 2020, Bisan vehemently opposed a new requirement in European Union grant contracts with Palestinian NGOsthat prohibits grantees from working with and funding organizations and individuals designated on the EU’s terror lists. In an interview with Al-Jazeera, a representative of Bisan stated, “Palestinian civil society is donor-dependent. Bisan used to get its funding primarily from EU governments, but we withdrew our project concept notes for this year after they [European Union] included the ATC [anti-terror clause] in their contracts.”

Bisan Ties to the PFLP

Staff Ties to the PFLP

  • Ubai Aboudi, Bisan’s Executive Director, was arrested by the Israeli authorities on November 13, 2019. In June 2020, Aboudi was sentenced to 12-months in prison. According to his conviction, Aboudi “was convicted of being a member and an activist of the Popular Front organization during the period starting from 2016 and ending in July 2019.” Specifically, Aboudi “was responsible for recruiting additional activists to the organization from young people and students, as well as strengthening the organization’s infrastructure in the area” (on file with NGO Monitor).
  • Itiraf Hajaj (Rimawi) served as Bisan’s Executive Director. Rimawi was arrested on September 23, 2019,  and  an  Israeli  authorities’ statement  refers to  him  as responsible for PFLP clandestine operations. Additionally, according to the PFLP-linked organization Samidoun, in 1995-2017, Rimawi was arrested several times. A 2016 High Court of Justice decision [HCJ-2524/16] referred to Rimawi as a “PFLP member” who “posed a security threat” (on file with NGO Monitor).
    • According to Palestinian media, Rimawi was sentenced to three and a half year of prison in December 2020.
  • In May 2019, Bisan Senior Researcher Gebril Muhamad attended a memorial event organized by the PFLP. It centered on PFLP political bureau member Rabah Muhanna, who, according to information posted by the PFLP, “contributed to the establishment” of several PFLP-affiliated NGOs. The hall was decorated with PFLP paraphernalia.

Government Funding to Bisan

European UnionEuropean Neighborhood Instrument (ENI)€699,2362017-2019Implemented by 5 Palestinian NGO partners
SpainBasque Agency for Development Cooperation (AVCD)€800,7642015-2018Via Mundubat; Implemented by 5 Palestinian NGO partners as part of the Kanan project
ItalyMFA€1.6 million2014-2017Via CISS - Cooperazione Internazionale Sud Sud; Implemented by 4 Palestinian NGO
BelgiumDirectorate-General for Development Cooperation (DGD)€337,8922017-2021Via Viva Salud
€1.2 million2014-2016Via Solidarité Socialiste; Implemented by 3 Palestinian NGO

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