Ma'an Development Center


Country/TerritoryPalestinian Authority
In their own words"[A]n independent Palestinian development and training institution." 



Ties to the PFLP

  • In June 2018, Hamza Zbeldat, Ma’an Field Coordinator in Ramallah, mourned the loss of a PFLP member, describing him as “my master” and as a person who “taught me.”

Political Advocacy

  • Ma’an Development Center cooperates with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). EAPPI sends volunteers to the West Bank to “witness life under occupation”; upon their return, many of these volunteers promote BDS in their home countries.
  • Accuses Israel of “war crimes” and violating international law. Refers to Gaza as the “world’s largest open-air prison,” and accuses Israel of denying citizens of “basic human rights such as water and electricity.”
  • The security barrier is consistently referred to as the “Apartheid Wall” and the section that surrounds Qalqilya is described “[a]s a control mechanism,” which “takes on the form of an enclosed cage in this area, transforming it into an open-air prison.”
  • According to Ma’an Development Center, normalization with Israel encompasses: “…Projects implying equity between Israelis and the Palestinians in the responsibility for the conflict, or that claim that peace is achieved through dialogue and understanding and increased cooperation between both sides, without achieving justice; Projects that hide the situation of the Palestinian people as victims of the Israeli colonial project; Projects supported by or in partnership with the Israeli institutions that do not recognize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people or projects receiving support or funding (in part or in whole) from the Israeli government such as cinema festivals, information technology exhibitions, etc.”
  • In November 2023, Ma’an Development Center was a signatory on a letter to Third States 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 October 2023, in the aftermath of the brutal Hamas attack on October 7, Ma’an Development Center 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, Ma’an Development Center 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 February 2023, Ma’an Development Center was a signatory on a letter to the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor to “Urgently expedite your investigation into the Situation in Palestine, including the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”
  • In September 2022, Ma’an Development Center endorsed a campaign titled “Investigate and Dismantle Apartheid.” The campaign is a “global Palestinian-led anti-apartheid effort…directed towards activating UN mechanisms to investigate and dismantle Israel’s apartheid regime by mobilizing grassroot efforts.”
  • In May 2022, Ma’an Development Center 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 October 2021, Ma’an Development Center was a signatory on a joint statement condemning the decision by the Israeli Ministry to designate six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organizations. According to the statement, “The ‘persecution of organizations and persons, by depriving them of fundamental rights and freedoms, because they oppose apartheid’ is one of the methods used by Israel to maintain its domination and oppression over the Palestinian people.
  • In May 2021, Ma’an Development Center was a signatory on a statement condemning the “racist and apartheid policies, laws and prosecutorial practices that Palestinians face in Jerusalem and the entirety of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
  • In April 2021, Ma’an Development Center welcomed the decision by the International Criminal Court to launch a formal investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel in the “State of Palestine.” According to Ma’an, “This is a long-awaited and a critically important step towards ensuring the rule of law and ending impunity, while ensuring accountability for Israel’s crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court.”
  • In January 2021, Ma’an Development Center, alongside a number of Palestinian organizations, issued a declaration that the “Vaccine Roll-Out Exposes Israel’s Inhumane Acts of Apartheid.” The NGOs falsely claimed that Israel has “legal obligations” to “ensure that quality vaccines be provided to Palestinians living under Israeli occupation and control.” The NGOs altogether ignore that Palestinians residing in Jerusalem are part of the Israeli health care system; that under the Oslo Accords the PA is responsible for health care of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza; and that the PA has adopted its own vaccine policy for its population.
  • In April 2020, to commemorate World Health Day, Ma’an was a signatory on a statement that “Israeli apartheid undermines Palestinians’ right to health during COVID-19 pandemic.” According to the statement, “For decades, Israel has established and maintained an apartheid regime over the Palestinian people through a plethora of laws, policies and practices designed to systematically fragment, isolate and oppress Palestinians…As long as Israeli impunity continues, it is the responsibility of all states to take effective measures, to uphold international justice and responsibility for the Palestinian victims, and to end the apartheid regime of Israel” (emphasis added).
  • MA’AN’s publication, “2017 Diary,” blamed Israel for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and provides legitimacy to Hamas’ rule, referring to it as having been elected through “democratic elections,” blaming Israel for “Palestinian internal division,” and having “intentionally crippled and undermined a functioning and sovereign state.” The document makes no mention of that fact that Hamas is designated a terrorist organization by the U.S., Canada, the EU, and Israel.
  • On November 9, 2017, Ma’an Development Center was a signatory on a call to support “A World Without Walls,” drawing comparisons between “Israel’s apartheid wall on Palestinian land to the US wall of Shame on indigenous land at the border with Mexico.”
  • On August 8, 2014, Ma’an Development Center was a signatory on a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressing its disappointment with his “failure” to point out the “Palestinians legitimate and legal right to resist occupation, colonization and institutionalized discrimination” and his “inappropriate justification of Israel’s violations of international humanitarian law, which amount to war crimes.”
  • During a July 2, 2011 hearing of the Australian Senate’s Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade Legislation Committee, Senator Eric Abetz asked officials from the Australian Agency for International Development questions regarding funding to Ma’an Development Center.
    • “What are the safeguards in place that prevent AusAID funding being used by APHEDA [‘overseas humanitarian aid agency of the Australian Council of Trade Unions’] or any of the others in a manner that contravenes Australian government policy on Israel? Let us just pluck an example out of the air like BDS—Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.”
    • Senator Abetz continued by identifying indirect Australian government funding via APHEDA for Ma’an Development Center, which “is heavily involved in the BDS [anti-Israel boycotts, divestment, and sanctions] campaign… On their website the Ma’an Development Center published a guide to grassroots and international BDS campaigns in 2009… and it is quite clear that the ACTU and APHEDA have no difficulty with the BDS campaign.” (Following an October 2010 hearing, where these issues were first raised, AusAid stated that “Ma’an Development Centre received approximately $1,219,320 from Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA in the 12 months to 30 April 2010.”)
    • At the same time, these organizations did not repudiate their involvement in BDS activities. APHEDA and Ma’an argued that “Palestinian civil society organisations are significant forces for democratisation, and should be free to adopt and voice policies and advocacy positions,” and that “Decisions on project funding should be made only on merit – on whether the projects are achieving the results that are contracted – rather than external political criteria.”
  • In 2010, Ma’an Development Center published a report titled: “Eye on the Jordan Valley”, alleging that “Israel has continually coveted the Jordan Valley since the 1967 war” and that “the Jordan Valley is suffering from serious social, environmental and economic devastation as a consequence of Israel’s apartheid policies.” This report was funded by Cordaid (Netherlands)/
  • In a “Case Study” on a Qalqilya farmer, as well as in other such “case studies,” Ma’an Development Center refers to Israeli “colonization,” and Israeli governments are described as “consecutive occupation governments since 1948.” It contains “testimony” from a local farmer, accusing Israel of “the atrocity of the occupation cutting off human finger in order to capture the necessary fingerprints.”

BDS Activities

  • Published “Boycotts, Divestment & Sanctions: Lessons learned in effective solidarity” (2009), a guide to grassroots and international BDS campaigns.
  • In November 2023, Ma’an Development Center 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 2019, Ma’an lobbied in support of the discriminatory UN database of businesses operating across the 1949 Armistice line, aimed at bolstering BDS campaigns against Israel.
  • As a member of PNGO, Ma’an has signed on numerous BDS calls including calling on the German Bundestag to revoke a joint resolution defining BDS campaigns against Israel as antisemitic and demanding the British Labor Party to enact a “military embargo on Israel” and “reject [the] biased IHRA definition” calling it a “fraudulent definition of antisemitism.”
    • 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.


  • Member of the “Displacement Work Group,” an initiative of Badil and OCHA to “monitor human rights violations (evictions, home demolitions, land confiscations) resulting in the displacement of people from their lands and communities,” along with: Addameer, Al-Haq, Al-Mezan, AIC, ARIJ, Badil, BIMKOM, B’Tselem, CARE Intnl., DCI – Palestine section, Diakonia, EAPPI, Ir Amim, ICAHD, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Oxfam UK, Oxfam Solidarite – Belgium, PA Govt. Spokesperson, PCHR, RHR, Society of St. Yves, Save the Children UK, Shatil, UNFPA, Stop the Wall, ACRI, UNFPA, Yesh Din, and World Vision.
  • Board member of the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), which refused to sign the anti-terror clause that is a condition of US government funding, stating “that its members would not sign funding agreements that included the ATC [Anti-Terror Certificate]: this is now a condition for membership under PNGO byelaws [sic]” (emphasis added).
    • In January 2020, PNGO vehemently opposed a new clause in European Union grant contracts with Palestinian NGOs that prohibits grantees from working with and funding organizations and individuals designated on the EU’s terror lists.  PNGO claimed that Palestinian terrorist organizations are “political parties.”
    • In April 2017, PNGO called on the international community not to “use aid to undermine legitimate Palestinian resistance.” According to PNGO, “We reject all de-legitimization or criminalization of lawful Palestinian resistance, whether in form of allegations of terrorism, anti-semitism or otherwise… We call on all governments and aid providers to respect our right to lawful resistance, support Palestinian human rights defenders, and ensure equal, impartial and transparent access to funding for all.”
    • In March 2016, as a member of Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), PNGO stated that “Israel’s current government, its most racist ever, has dropped all pretences of ‘enlightenment’ and ‘democracy’. This has helped to expose Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid to world public opinion like never before.”
  • Member of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Coalition (PGAAWC).


2016-2019 Funding to Ma’an Development Center (amounts in $US unless specified)

AustraliaAUD 40 million (2015-2020) projectAUD 40 million (2015-2020) projectAUD 40 million (2015-2020) project3,729,229
CARE International1,288,976
Save the Children329,150
British Council85,348
UN OCHA1,390,127282,532350,174460,685
Catholic Relief Services73,320
DanChurchAidDKK 4,595,599DKK 3,000,000
European Union€345,000
NorwayNOK 1,200,000NOK 1,500,000
Solidarité Socialiste€240,122€385,525

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