Health Work Committees (HWC)

Introduction

In June 2015, Israel’s Defense Minister declared that “the group of people or institutions or association known as the ‘Union of Health Work Committees-Jerusalem [HWC]’…or any other name that this association will be known by, including all of its factions and any branch, center, committee or group of this association is an unauthorized association, as defined by the Defense Regulations” (emphasis added).

Numerous 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 Committees’ Ties to the PFLP Terror Group.”

Profile

Country/TerritoryPalestinian Authority
Websitehttp://www.hwc-pal.org/
Founded1985
In their own wordsThe Health Work Committees functions in a Rights-Based Approach providing Health Services to all segments of the Palestinian Population, particularly the poor and the marginalized; building development models, and; lobbying and advocating in support of favorable policies and legislations.

Funding

Activities

HWC Ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)

  • On June 9, 2015, Israel’s Defense Minister declared that “the group of people or institutions or association known as the ‘Union of Health Work Committees-Jerusalem’…or ‘Health Work Committees’…or any other name that this association will be known by, including all of its factions and any branch, center, committee or group of this association is an unauthorized association, as defined by the Defense Regulations” (emphasis added, p.6489).
  • HWC’s Youth Development Program, “A community, cultural, and social development program that provide services to Jerusalemite youth through ‘Nidal Center,’” was shut down by Israeli authorities from 2009 to 2012 because, in the words of the Jerusalem District Court, it served as “a place of action of the [PFLP] organization.” The Nidal Center also houses HWC’s Kanan project, a program implemented by six political NGOs, five of which have reported ties to the PFLP.1
  • In 2016, the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ-3923/15), stated that “based on credible information, the PFLP carried out activity in the apartment, under the aegis of an organization named the ‘Union of Health Work Committees-Jerusalem,’ which later was also declared a terrorist organization” (emphasis added).
  • The relationship between HWC and Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC) is unclear, but the two have been referred to as “sister organization[s].” UHWC is a PFLP affiliated health committee active in Gaza, as identified by USAID and in Palestinian documents.

HWC Staff Ties to the PFLP

Political Advocacy

  • Has stated that it holds “The United States of American and all the supporter of the Zionist terrorist against the Palestinian nation, accountable for what all is happening and we consider it a partner in the crime,” and refers to Israeli actions as “collective punishment.”
  • Has accused Israel of a “policy of gradual, systemic ethnic cleaning against the citizens of Jerusalem,” which is “in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”
  • Promotes “Nakba” rhetoric and a Palestinian “right of return.”
  • In May 2019, to commemorate Nakba Day, HWC released a statement referring to “Zionist gangs in 1948” and accusing them of “murder, displacement, hunger, and exile.”
  • In July 2018, Laura Roger, a member of HWC, participated in the Freedom Flotilla that set sail from Italy with the aim of “end[ing] the siege” of Gaza and “demand[ing] an end to our governments’ complicity with Israel’s war crimes and violation of human rights.”
  • In May 2018, during the violence on the Gaza border, HWC condemned the “serious violations of human rights by the Israeli occupation forces and the violations of international humanitarian law, including those related to war crimes as a result of the military escalation against unarmed civilians in the besieged Gaza Strip and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” HWC ignored the violent nature of the protests, which have consisted of an organized armed attack on the Israeli border and IDF positions, attempts to destroy and breach the border fence, and sustained arson, rocket, and mortar attacks on Israeli civilian communities.
  • In an open letter (titled “Stop the Genocide”) written during the 2014 Gaza war, HWC alleged, “The innocent citizens of the Gaza Strip have been facing terrifying genocide committed against them by the Israeli occupying forces.” The letter called for the “Palestinian Authority to submit lawsuits to international courts and organizations to bring criminal Zionists to trial.”
  • Refers to a terror wave that began in October 2015 as “the Jerusalem Uprising ‘Al-Quds’” and called on organizations to “submit lawsuit drafts to the International Criminal Court” against Israel.

BDS Activities

Partners

2014-2018 Funding to HWC

DonorAmountYear(s)
European Union€699,2362017
Sweden$1,265,7652018
$1,170,0012017
AVCD (Spain)€514,8372014-2016
Al Quds Association€7,7502017
€13,4202016
Viva Salud€178,4762018
€163,5952017
€176,6352016
Individuell MänniskohjälpSEK 743,9482017
SEK 883,1792016

Footnotes

  1. The Kanan project NGO partners are DCI–PAlternative Information Center (AIC), UPWC, Bisan, the Spanish NGO Mundubat, and HWC.

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