NGO Development Center (NDC)
|In their own words||“The NGO Development Center (NDC) is a Palestinian non-profit, non-governmental organization supporting Palestinian NGOs and their representative entities to more effectively respond to the needs of the most disadvantaged groups in Palestinian society. Through the provision of financial and technical support as well as the development of value systems that promote principles of social justice, integrity, and transparency, NDC contributes to the achievement of development priorities and the realization of an effective and sustainable civil society in the State of Palestine.”|
- In 2020, total income was $13.6 million; total expenses were $13.5 million.
- In 2020, donors included Sweden (SIDA, Consulate General of Sweden in Jerusalem), France, UN Women, and the World Bank.
- Previous donors include European Union, the Donor Consortium consisting of Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden, UN OCHA, Islamic Development Bank, and the United Palestinian Appeal.
- In 2020-2024, the French Agency for Development (AFD) authorized an €8 million grant to NDC for a project titled “Action for East Jerusalem’s Identity and Resilience (AJIR).” Implementing partners include PalVision, Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) Palestine, and Al-Quds University.
- In 2020-2024, Sweden (SIDA) committed $8 million to NDC’s Human Rights Programme. (See more information on this project below.)
- NGOs receiving funding under this framework include Al Mezan, Al-Haq, Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P), BADIL, B’Tselem, Gisha, Breaking the Silence, and Yesh Din. Three of these NGOs, Al Mezan, Al-Haq, and DCI-P have alleged ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist organization designated as such by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel.
- In 2021, NDC was an implementing partner on a $2.4 million project funded by the United States for “Immediate support for farmers, herders and fishers.”
- In 2018-2021, the NDC managed a $17 million project funded by the World Bank (WB) via the International Development Association (IDA)1 titled “Gaza Emergency Cash for Work and Self-Employment Support.” (See more on this project below.)
- Until 2014, the NGO Development Center (NDC) managed pooled finances for Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands for their Human Rights/Good Governance (HR/GG) program. (See NGO Monitor’s reports on the previous counterproductive funding via the NDC here and here.)
- In 2014, NDC was replaced by NIRAS and Birzeit University, which managed the government funding under a similar framework titled the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (“Secretariat”). In December 2017, the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat ceased support and funding for NGOs. In June 2018, the Secretariat presented its final report and ended its activities. As of August 2018, the Secretariat website is no longer functional. For more information on the Secretariat, read NGO Monitor’s report “Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat: Abusing Public Funds to Perpetuate Conflict.”
- In 2019, Sweden resumed funding to the NDC for a Human Rights Fund Programme,“through which financial support shall be granted to civil society organisations” (see below for details).
NDC Funding to Politicized NGOs
- The NDC provides funding to number of highly biased and politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict including the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), Health Work Committees(HWC), Al Mezan, Al-Haq, Defence for Children international -Palestine (DCI-P), BADIL, Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), Palestinian Youth Association for Leadership and Rights Activation (PYALARA), and East Jerusalem YMCA. Some of the organizations receiving NDC funding promote antisemitic rhetoric and have reported links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist organization by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel. (See table below for further funding information.)
- UHWC is identified by Fatah as an official PFLP “affiliate” and by a 1993 USAID-engaged audit as the “the PFLP’s health organization.” For more information on UHWC’s PFLP ties, read NGO Monitor’s report “Union of Health Work Committees’ Ties to the PFLP Terror Group.”
- A number of Al-Mezan officials and employees are members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Hamas, terrorist organizations. For more information on Al-Mezan’s PFLP ties, read NGO Monitor’s report “Al Mezan Center For Human Rights’ Ties to the PFLP Terror Group.”
- On October 22, 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Defense declared Al-Haq a “terror organization” because it is part of “a network of organizations” that operates “on behalf of the ‘Popular Front’.” Al-Haq’s General Director Shawan Jabarin has been linked to the PFLP.
- Numerous individuals with alleged ties to the PFLP have been employed and appointed as board members at DCI-P. For more information on DCI-P’s PFLP ties, read NGO Monitor’s report “Defense for Children International – Palestine’s Ties to the PFLP Terror Group.” On October 22, 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Defense declared Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P) a “terror organization” because it is part of “a network of organizations” that operates “on behalf of the ‘Popular Front’.”
- BADIL is the main Palestinian “right of return” NGO, and a leader of BDS campaigns and political warfare against Israel. This NGO publishes antisemitic cartoons on its website, as well as imagery calling for the destruction of Israel (also a form of antisemitism) and denying Israel’s right to exist. Cartoon published by BADIL include classic antisemitic tropes, featuring a Jewish man, garbed in traditional Hasidic attire, with a hooked nose and side locks. He stands above a dead child and skulls, holding a pitchfork dripping with blood. Additional graphics deny the legitimacy of Israel in any form, and oppose peace agreements.
- In May 2019, President of Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) Mustafa Barghouti 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.
- While the NDC claims that it a “Palestinian non-profit, non-governmental organization supporting Palestinian NGOs,” it also provides funding for Israeli NGOs Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem, Gisha and Yesh Din.
- Breaking the Silence (BtS) “collects testimonies of soldiers who served in the Occupied Territories during the Second Intifada,” claiming that the “testimonies portray a…grim picture of questionable orders in many areas regarding Palestinian civilians [which] demonstrate the depth of corruption which is spreading in the Israeli military…Israeli society continues to turn a blind eye, and to deny that which happens in its name.”
- B’Tselem actively pursues its political agenda of “international consequences” and international pressure on Israel via lobbying of the UN and European governments. In January 2021, B’Tselem launched a discriminatory and hateful campaign, under the banner of “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid.” As part of the campaign, B’Tselem attacked Israel’s role as a haven for the Jewish people (the Law of Return) and used the phrase “from the river to the sea” – echoing long-standing Palestinian terminology for the destruction of Israel. (Read NGO Monitor’s analysis: “From the “River to the Sea”: B’Tselem’s Demonization Crosses the Line.”)
- Gisha employs “apartheid” other international legal rhetoric to promote a partisan political and ideological agenda.
- Yesh Din is central to the allegations that Israeli investigative and court systems are unable or unwilling to investigate allegations of wrongdoing and is part of a wider “lawfare” strategy of pressing “war crimes” cases against Israeli officials in foreign courts and in the International Criminal Court (ICC). These campaigns use faulty information and skewed statistics to promote their political claims. In July 2020, Yesh Din published a “legal opinion” titled “The Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and the Crime of Apartheid” alleging “that the crime against humanity of apartheid is being committed in the West Bank” by Israel.
Human Rights Fund Programme
- According to the NDC, its Human Rights Fund Programme is guided primarily by Sweden’s development Cooperation Strategy for Palestine and “provide[s] core support to organisations that can demonstrate having the competence and capacity to contribute to real and sustainable change towards achieving the overall objective of the programme.”
- In 2020-2024, Sweden (SIDA) committed $8 million to NDC’s Human Rights Programme.
- NGOs receiving funding under this framework include Al Mezan, Al-Haq, Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P), BADIL, B’Tselem, Gisha, Breaking the Silence, and Yesh Din.
- As part of the project, in 2020, the NGOs held “839 lectures, briefings, tours, and workshops for Diplomats, rights holders, and human rights defenders.” The NGOs also held “653 meetings with National and International groups and organizations.”
World Bank Project
- In 2018-2021, the NDC managed a $17 million project funded by the World Bank (WB) through the International Development Association (IDA).
- The project, “Gaza Emergency Cash for Work and Self-Employment Support” aims to “provide grants to selected NGOs to hire young people who have been unemployed for at least one year.”
- The project’s financial statement lists several NGO grantees that, according to the available evidence, have links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is designated as a terror group by the US, the EU, Canada, and Israel. Additionally, the Islamic University in Gaza (IUG), another grantee, is reported to be “the main bastion” of Hamas in Gaza.
- Grantees include:
- Union of Health Work Committees (see above)
- Ma’an Development Center
- In May 2019, MA’AN Director General Sami Khader attended a memorial event organized by the PFLP that centered on PFLP political bureau member Rabah Muhanna. The hall was decorated with PFLP paraphernalia.
- In May 2018, Ma’an Development Center employee Ahmad Abdallah Aladini was killed in the violence on the Gaza border. Aladini was a “comrade” of the PFLP terror group.
- Red Crescent Society for Gaza Strip
- The PFLP organizes events with RCS4GS.
- In February 2019, RCS4GS hosted a memorial service organized by the PFLP for Maher Yamani, a PFLP “founder” and a “member of the Central Committee and one of its most prominent military commanders.” Yamani “coordinated special operations…in particular the operation against an aircraft of the Israeli company El Al in July 1968 in Greece.” “Fighters” of the PFLP’s Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades and “civil society representatives” attended the event.
- Bakr Abu Safiya, a RCS4GS board member, is referred by the PFLP as “a member of the Central Committee” (February 2020).
- The PFLP organizes events with RCS4GS.
- The Islamic University in Gaza
- The Islamic University in Gaza (IUG) is referred as “the main bastion of Hamas in the Gaza Strip” by the Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida A Chronicle of Higher Education article from December 29, 2008, further noted that IUG “was established by the founder of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, and has emerged as a training ground for the political and spiritual leadership of Hamas.”
Support for BDS
- In a document funded by the French government, NDC outlines “strategic objectives” of Palestinian NGOs, which include: “BDS Campaign[s]”; “Campaign[s] for Academic and Cultural Boycott”; “Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign[s]”; “Anti-normalization Campaign[s]”; and “Development of a unified NGO strategy for international advocacy.”
NGO Code of conduct and “Anti-normalization”
- In 2008, NDC “launched” and funded the “Palestinian NGO Code of Conduct,” which demands that “The signatory NGOs also undertake to be in line with the national agenda without any normalization activities with the occupier, neither at the political-security nor the cultural or developmental levels.”
- In 2015, a second edition the Code of Conduct was released that maintained demands for “anti-normalization.”
- According to the NDC “by end of 2019, 620 NGOs have signed up”
NDC Funding to Politicized NGOs (amounts in NIS)
Amounts taken from NDC’s 2020 Annual Report unless noted
|Palestinian Medical Relief Society||$415,451||2018-2021|
|Union of Health Work Committees||$839,368||2018-2021|
|Ma’an Development Center||$706,772||2018-2021|
|Palestine in Center Rights' Workers and Democracy (DWRC)||$734,925||2018-2021|
|Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC)||$291,647||2018-2021|
|Red Crescent Society for Gaza Strip||$285,038||2018-2021|
|Defense for Children International - Palestine (DCI-P)||$858,235||2018-2020|
|Breaking the Silence||$855,536||2018-2020|
- The International Development Association (IDA) is “the part of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries. Overseen by 173 shareholder nations, IDA aims to reduce poverty by providing loans (called “credits”) and grants for programs that boost economic growth, reduce inequalities, and improve people’s living conditions.”