Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO)


Country/TerritoryPalestinian Authority
FoundedSeptember 1993
In their own words"PNGO is guided by the networks clear mission, where the national, developmental roles of NGOs go alongside with the building of a Palestinian democratic, civil society based on social justice, the sovereignty of law, and the respect of human rights."



PNGO’s Ties to Terrorism

  • On December 22, 2019, PNGO, Al-Dameer, and the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) organized a conference on “international accountability mechanisms,” featuring a speech by PFLP Prisoners Committee official ‘Alam Ka’abi. Ka’abi was sentenced to nine life sentences in 2004 for his role in recruiting and sending terrorists to a number of attacks in the early 2000s, resulting in the deaths of several Israeli citizens and injuring dozens.
  • On December 20, 2017, PNGO organized a conference on “Palestinian reconciliation.” PFLP official Rabah Muhana was a guest speaker. Mahana is referred to on the PFLP’s official website as a “Member of the Front’s political bureau and one of the most prominent national leaders in the Gaza strip…he was known for his adherence to national principles, the right of return and resistance.” Mahana joined the PFLP in 1979 and was arrested by Israel multiple times, one of them in 2001 in the wake of the assassination of Israeli Minister of Tourism Rehavam Zeevi, carried out by the PFLP.
  • In October 2014, PNGO co-organized a conference with the PFLP’s “Preparatory Committee” and the National Initiative Movement. One of the speakers at the event was the PFLP’s Jameel Mazhar, who “called… for escalating the mass popular resistance against the Zionist occupation, foremost of which is armed resistance, as the most effective way to confront the occupation.” PNGO’s former director Mohsen Abu Ramadan also spoke at the event, adding “it is necessary to leave the negotiations [with Israel] and take the decisions of war and peace collectively.”

PNGO Staff Ties to the PFLP

Defense of Terrorism

  • 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. According to media reports, PNGO claimed that Palestinian terrorist organizations are “political parties.”
  • In June 2017, PNGO condemned Norway for pulling funding from a youth center named after Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist who in 1978 murdered 37 civilians, including 12 children. PNGO referred to Mughrabi as a “Palestinian Woman Freedom Fighter,” stating that “PNGO believes this is another form of foreign domination and oppression calling Palestinian resistance a terrorist resistance against Israeli occupation…PNGO stands strong against conditional funding, especially when it threatens Palestinian right to resist foreign domination, exploitation, oppression and occupation” and that “there is a difference between freedom fighters and terrorists” (emphasis added).
  • 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 2007, PNGO played a leading role in a boycott of USAID funding, following US government demands that NGO grantees sign anti-terrorism clauses as part of their funding agreements. As part of this campaign, PNGO wrote that the anti-terror clause “ignores the legal Palestinians’ right of resistance against the Israeli occupation.” An unnamed PNGO official also commented, “They are telling us what to do and they interfere in internal politics,” describing the US list of terror groups as an attempt to “create internal conflict among Palestinians.” According to a 2013 study commissioned by the UN, PNGO “stated 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).

European Legal Support Center (ELSC)

Demonization of Israel

  • PNGO rhetoric includes accusing Israel of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “collective punishment,” “genocide,” “war crimes,” and “Bantustans,” as well as supporting a Palestinian “right of return.”
  • PNGO aided in the drafting of the NGO Code of Conduct, which endorses a rejectionist approach, obliging signatory NGOs “to be in line with the national agenda without any normalization activities with the occupier [Israel], neither at the political-security nor the cultural or developmental levels” (emphasis added).
  • Instrumental in producing many of the preparatory documents for the Durban 2001 conference. According to PNGO’s former program coordinator, Renad Qubaj, “In Durban, for sure we published posters saying, ‘End the occupation,’ things like that, and we published a study, had a press conference, organized our partners and protest marches.”
  • PNGO accuses Israel of having “systematically murdered” civilians and children, and of “spreading organized terrorism which is being executed by the regular Israeli army units and terrorist groups that comprise of settlers who execute criminal acts with support and protection by the Israeli government.”
  • In November 2019, PNGO signed a letter to Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda, calling to open “an official, full-scale investigation into the ‘situation in Palestine’” and the “possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed” as the “absence of an official investigation…has fuelled the already existing culture of impunity.
  • In August 2018, PNGO was a signatory on a call to the British Labour Party to “reject [the] biased IHRA definition” calling it a “fraudulent definition of antisemitism.” The call further demands “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel as nonviolent measures of accountability” and a “military embargo on Israel.”
    • 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.
  • On April 5, 2018, PNGO published a press release accusing Israel of “longstanding impunity,” “systematic and continuous widespread targeting,” and “premeditated murder[] of innocent Palestinian people” during the Great March of Return. The press release ignored the violent nature of the protests, which included Molotov cocktails, arson, and attempts to breach the border fence with Israel.
  • In November 2017, PNGO 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.”
  • 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.”
  • On February 5, 2015, PNGO published a statement calling upon the international community to “end Israel’s endemic impunity with regards to their ethnic cleansing policies (sic)… in Palestine.”
  • During the 2014 Gaza War, PNGO condemned the “horrific and bloody massacres against our people in Gaza” and the “Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip,” and called on Israel to “refrain from double standards in dealing with what is happening in the Strip in terms of the genocide of the occupying power.”
  • In a November 28, 2013 press release, together with Palestinian NGOs Al Mezan, Al Dameer, and Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), PNGO accused Israel of “systematic policies against the civilian population” and “human rights violations perpetrated by Israeli occupation forces… as a form of collective punishment.”
  • During the 2008 Gaza War, PNGO alleged that Israel’s goal was to “eras[e] the memory of resistance and struggle … so Israel would be free to impose its goals, and instill a culture of obedience, and compliance with the occupying power.” PNGO also called for a “war tribunal” and “reparations.”

BDS Activities

  • PNGO is a member of the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the coordinating body for the BDS campaign.
  • PNGO has opposed negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, in part because “at a time when the struggle is intensifying on various levels toward strengthening the boycott campaign, which has started to yield results, ‘the negotiations will lead an end to this.’”
  • In November 2007,PNGO was one of the organizers of the First Palestinian Conference for the Boycott of Israel. One of the strategies put forth at the conference is to “Emphasize that the BDS campaign does not only target Israel’s economy, but challenges Israel’s legitimacy, being a colonial and apartheid state, as part of the international community. Therefore, efforts are needed not only to promote wide consumer boycotts, but also boycotts in the fields of academia, culture and sports” (emphasis added).
  • In July 2020, in response to the “Report of the Special Rapporteur addressing Israel’s Collective Punishment Policy,” PNGO called on “Third States to adopt effective measures to put an end to Israel’s illegal and inhumane policies of collective punishment, including sanctions and countermeasures, to bring the illegal situation to an end” (emphasis added).
  • In May 2020, PNGO was a signatory on a statement calling for “Immediate targeted sanctions to stop Israel’s annexation and apartheid.” The statement further called for “A ban on arms trade and military-security cooperation with Israel,” “Suspension of trade and cooperation agreements with Israel,” and “Investigation and prosecution of individuals and corporate actors responsible for war crimes/crimes against humanity in the context of Israel’s regime of illegal occupation and apartheid.”
  • In November 2019, PNGO signed a statement calling for the “international community to immediately impose sanctions on the State of Israel and illegal Israeli settlements” and “implement domestic legislation to prohibit and criminalize the import of illegal settlement goods and services into their territory.”
  • In May 2019, PNGO was a signatory on a statement calling on the German Bundestag to revoke a joint resolution defining BDS campaigns against Israel as antisemitic.
  • In 2018-2019, PNGO lobbied in support of the discriminatory UN blacklist of businesses supposedly operating across the 1949 Armistice line, aimed at bolstering BDS campaigns against Israel.
  • In September 2015, as a member of the BNC, PNGO sent a joint letter to the UN Secretary General urging the UN to divest from the British security company G4S as a result of its servicing detention centers known for “widespread torture and mistreatment of Palestinian political prisoners, including children.”
  • In May 2015, PNGO was a signatory on a call to “Campaign against corporate criminals, such as military company Elbit Systems, security firm G4S and key Israeli military supplier HP that enable Israeli violations of international law” and “pressure governments to impose military embargoes and trade sanctions.”
  • In March 2015, PNGO encouraged the EU to “avoid involvement in financial activity and investments in illegal Israeli settlements” and “take a strong stand against economic cooperation with illegal settlements.”
  • In August 2014, PNGO alleged that “many parties are also maintaining complicity in Israel’s profiteering in Gaza’s reconstruction” and called on the “international community to eschew recklessness in their distribution of aid funds to critically flawed campaigns that do nothing to sustainably assist the Palestinian people, yet do everything to support to Israel.”
  • Together with Addameer, Al Mezan, Badil, and Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (PCDCR), signed on a “Joint Call to Action: July 2014 – Month against the Apartheid Wall,” stating: “….it is time for a ‘legal intifada’, an intensified popular struggle and more boycotts, divestment and sanctions. It is time for accountability…. to overcome Israeli apartheid, colonialism and occupation. We ask you to expand and deepen the global BDS movement for justice…”
  • On August 13, 2014, PNGO called on “Palestinian, Arab and International NGOs that provides the Palestinian people in Gaza Strip with aids to boycott the Israeli products whatever the justification is, not to reward the occupation for killing the Palestinians through purchasing Israeli products.”
  • In July 2014, PNGO called “upon the international community and people worldwide” to “end the criminal aggression against the unarmed civilians in the Gaza Strip” and “ boycott, divest from, and impose international sanctions on the occupying power, until it complies with international law and ends its grave violations in the Palestinian territories. We call upon the different countries around the world to stop and terminate its contracts and arms deals with the occupying power.”
  • In December 2008, PNGO urged the UN Security Council to “impos[e]… sanctions,” and EU institutions and member states to “…adop[t] immediate restrictive measures and sanctions, as well as cessation of all upgrade dialogue with Israel.”
  • In January 2007, PNGO signed a “Joint Statement of Palestinian Civil Society to the World Social Forum,” which supported “…Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (or BDS) against Israel, similar to the international community’s measures against apartheid South Africa in the past.”

Key Members

2016-2018 Funding to PNGO

European Union€446,4852016-2019
SwitzerlandCHF 113,2232018
CHF 19,9982017
Norwegian People's AidNOK 13,155,9862018
NOK 13,398,6552017
NOK 12,355,0232016


  • PNGO leads the Advocacy Working Group (AWG) of the UN Humanitarian Country Team which acts as the “senior humanitarian coordination policy and decision making forum on issues related to advocacy, access, humanitarian programming and response.” The AWG also works to “develop[] common messaging on humanitarian concerns, focused on increasing respect for international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and improving the protection of civilians…. altering the policies and practices creating humanitarian needs in the oPt…preventing forced displacement and forcible transfer and ensuring freedom of movement and humanitarian access.”

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