During the May 2023 conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), PIJ and other terrorist groups launched over 1,200 rockets toward Israeli population centers, each one a war crime. In this context, the Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) published a statement in which it “affirms the Palestinian people to resist the occupation by all available means, including armed struggle….”
Following pressure from European donors, PCHR changed the text to read: “to resist the occupation by all legitimate means in accordance with international law.” According to the Norwegian government, “PCHR has stressed and reiterated that it is a non-violent human rights organization that in no way incites violence” (on file with NGO Monitor).
In sharp contrast, as seen below, members of PCHR’s board have encouraged and justified violence against Israelis, as well as celebrated terrorists, both before and during the May 2023 conflict. Their rhetoric, which contradicts fundamental human rights values and condones violations of international law, suggests that PCHR’s amendment of its statement was intended merely and minimally to allow supporters in donor governments to continue funding.
(Notably, PCHR has ties to a US and EU-designated terrorist organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP]. For more information, see NGO Monitor’s “Palestinian Centre for Human Rights’ Links to the PFLP Terror Group.”)
- On May 13, 2023, Abu Nahla wrote, “Just a moment ago the Zionist occupation war planes attacked a house and completely destroyed it…Nazi criminal occupation…May the occupation demise. May the resistance [a euphemism for Palestinian terrorist organizations] have victory.”
- On May 13, 2023, Abu Nahla also wrote, “Five days of power and dignity…Peace be upon our only choice, the resistance. Our pride and honor. Glory and eternal life to the martyrs.” Following a January 26, 2023 IDF operation in Jenin in which 10 Palestinians – mostly armed members of terrorist organizations – were killed in a gunbattle, Abu Nahla wrote, “Oh, he who guides the blood vengeances, may you guide our blood vengeance.”
- According to the PFLP, in April 2015, Abu Nadia spoke at a meeting organized by the PFLP and PIJ on “the Palestinian crisis and the horizons for solution.” Among the participants were then PFLP political bureau members Rabbah Muhana and Mariam Abu Daqqa, Hamas Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, and senior PIJ member Khaled Al-Batsh.
Mkhaimar Abusada – Deputy chair of the Board of Directors
- On January 27, 2023, following a gunbattle between IDF forces and Palestinian gunmen in Jenin, Abusada shared on Facebook his interview with Al-Araby TV news, in which he said, “…We console ourselves and console our people for the large number of martyrs that fell today while defending Jenin camp and the brave Palestinian resistance in the West Bank…”
- On January 27, 2023, Abusada shared his televised interview on Al-Ghad TV on the same day and wrote, “The rockets of the Palestinian resistance from Gaza is a message of warning and threat to the Israeli occupation so that the latter stop the aggression against Jenin camp and the West Bank [in general]…” During the interview, Abusada said, “The massacre that Israel carried out yesterday in Jenin camp, which caused the martyrdom of ten Palestinians, and the destruction that the Israeli occupation forces caused in Jenin camp and in all of the West Bank…The Palestinian factions wanted to send a clear message to the Israeli occupation that…it is not possible for the occupation forces to isolate the Jenin camp or our people in the West Bank….”
- Two days after the murder of seven Israeli civilians outside a Jerusalem synagogue, on January 30, 2023, Abusada shared his interview with Al-Mwatin, published on January 30, 2023, in which he said, “…In light of the current tough and harsh political circumstances, which we are going through…it does not prevent the Palestinian people from taking revenge against the massacres that are occuring in Palestine…The national Palestinian struggle and fight shall not end, and the flame of Palestinian resistance shall not end, but continue as long as there is occupation, settlement and judaization.”
Jaber Wishah – PCHR board member as of May 2023
- According to a February 2023 profile of Wishah published by Vision for Political Development – a research institute that conducts interviews with and analysis of leading Palestinian figures – Wishah believes that “Liberation from the occupation will be accomplished by resistance in all possible forms, and especially armed resistance, which is legal world-wide. This, until achieving liberation and establishing a Democratic Palestinian state of all lands of historic Palestine.” The profile also notes that “Wishah has been affiliated with the PFLP since 1972 and joined its military wing…and became its head in the Gaza Strip…”
- On May 14, 2023, Wishah wrote, “IRREVERSABLE (sic) March already started. Israel [will] collaps[e], is NOT a matter of IF, It is a matter of WHEN.”
- Following the death of Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar,1 Wishah wrote a lengthy eulogy, published by Wattan on December 20, 2015, in which he stated that “15 years of joint struggle with Samir in Israeli prisons, was enough for me to realize that this fighter is a rare example of the Free Arab Resistance…Samir was a tough, stubborn fighter, optimistic and life-loving person…I came to learn the deep humane dimension in the character of this hero…Samir is a model for all respectful people in the world in the struggle against injustice, and today there are thousands on the road that Samir paved.”
- In November 2013, Wishah was part of a Palestinian delegation that traveled to Lebanon to meet with Hezbollah members. During the gathering, Wishah stated, “We must establish a strategy to confront this Zionist enemy based on the use of force so that this enemy understands well that the Arab and Muslim nations are decisive…”
- In 2018-2023, PCHR is receiving €320,187 from the European Union for “Promoting improved respect, protection and fulfilment of the right to the highest attainable standard of health in the Gaza Strip.”
- In 2021-2023, PCHR is one of the implementing partners on a CHF 6,645,000 project funded by Switzerland for the “Promotion and respect of human rights, gender equality and the international humanitarian law.”
- In 2021-2022, Andalucía Agency for International Development Cooperation (Spain) provided €109,825 to PCHR and the Al Quds Association for the “Promotion and protection of women’s rights in the Gaza Strip.”
- In 2022 received NOK 7.0 million from Norway
- In 2021, PCHR received €81,000 from Ireland (Irish Aid)
- In 2021, PCHR received $194,255 from the UN OCHA occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund for “Advocacy, monitoring and documentation of HR and IHL violations and related trends in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.”
- On April 22, 1979, Kuntar led a terrorist cell from Lebanon that infiltrated the Israeli town of Nahariyya. The cell killed a police officer and then entered the home of the Haran family, kidnapping the father, Danny, and his four year-old daughter, Einat. Later, Kuntar executed Danny and bludgeoned Einat to death. Yael Haran, Danny’s two-year-old daughter, suffocated to death while her mother hid with her in their apartment.