Union of Health Workers Committees (UHWC)
|In their own words||Provides comprehensive health services through a developmental community and social framework to all sectors of the Palestinian people especially the marginalized and poor ones through its health centers and community programs.|
- UHWC does not publish funding information, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability.
- 2016 “Partners, Friends, and Supporters” include: Spain (AECID), Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, UK, UNRWA, Oxfam, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), UNDP, World Health Organization, NGO Development Center, World Vision, UNICEF, DanChurchAid, Save the Children, Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), UNFPA, Welfare Association, and the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign. (See table below for further funding information.)
- In 2020-2021, AECID is granting €300,000 to UHWC for “improved access to comprehensive services for survivors of violence.”
- In 2018-2021, UHWC was an implementing partner of an $17 million project with the NGO Development Center funded by the World Bank (WB) through its International Development Association (IDA).
- In 2019-2020, the UN OCHA occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund granted UHWC $1.6 million for various projects in Gaza.
- In 2019, the Provincial Council of Bizkaia (Basque Autonomous Community) provided €80,000 to UHWC and Paz con Dignidad for “Comprehensive Health Services for Women and Youth in Northern Gaza.”
- In 2014-2021, UHWC received €1.4 million from Belgium via Viva Salud for “Youth in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.”
- UHWC activities include holding medical conferences and “Health Days,” and maintaining hospitals, medical center, and cultural centers throughout the Gaza Strip.
- UHWC itself is a PFLP-affiliated health committee active in Gaza, as identified by USAID and in Palestinian documents. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) is a terrorist organization designated as such by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel.
- Signed on the 2005 Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS and helped organize the First Palestinian Conference for the Boycott of Israel (BDS).
- UHWC has accused Israel of “Urbanicide,” “Genocide,” the “mass killing of civilians,” and called on its partners, including Oxfam, to condemn “Israel’s human rights violations against the Palestinian people.”
- Mona El-Farra, is a “health development consultant” for the Union of Health Work Committees, and according to American Friends Service Committee’s website, El-Farra also “heads the Rachel Corrie Children’s Center, which is also in Gaza. The center is a project of the Union of Health Work Committees.”
- In 2015, El Farra was denied a visa by the Israeli authorities to travel to a conference on Palestine in Dublin for “security reasons.”
- In May 2018, El-Farra participated in the “Palestinian Freedom Conference: Overcoming the Ongoing Nakba,” which discussed how “In late 1947, colonial Zionist paramilitary forces began the process of ethnically cleansing more than 750,000 Palestinians…70 years later…in Palestine a process of ongoing ethnic cleansing via occupation, colonisation, apartheid, and cruel siege continues apace, with no intervention from the international community.”
- In an interview in 2004, El-Farra explained that UHWC refused USAID funding because it came with the condition that they promise “not [to] give any help or any aid whatsoever for the families of the militiamen, or their relatives, or anyone related to ‘terrorist attacks’” because “we consider it resistance.”
UHWC’s Ties to the PFLP
- UHWC is identified by Fatah as an official PFLP “affiliate” and by a 1993 USAID-engaged audit as the “the PFLP’s health organization.”
- As academic scholar Glenn E. Robinson, who also identifies UHWC as a “PFLP-affiliated health committee,” explains “Many-probably most-doctors who joined the UHWC had political leanings similar to the leftist PFLP. As health committees tied to other political factions also existed, it was common for doctors and staff to work with that health group which reflected their politics. Both the providers and, to a lesser degree, the recipients of these medical services were aware of the larger political agenda. The ability to translate medical-and other social-services into a particular political vision was the key to the struggle within the Palestinian community for ideological hegemony” (emphasis added).
- 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.” According to the Jerusalem District Court, “following the closure of the [Center], the PFLP began operating under the guise of the non-profit the Union of Health Work Committees – Jerusalem…on June 9, 2015 at the request of the Minister of Defense the non-profit was an unlawful organization…”
UHWC Staff Ties to the PFLP
Funding to UHWC
|Basque Agency for Development Cooperation (Spain)||€80,000||2019
|Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA)||N/A||2017
|NGO Development Center (NDC)||$17 million||2018-2021
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