A Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) contractor who was killed on April 6 during the violence along the Gaza-Israel border, has reportedly been exposed as an officer in the Hamas terrorist group. If true, then this is another worrying example of Hamas infiltration of an international aid organization.
According to an April 9 NRC statement, “Yasser Murtaja…had agreed to document for NRC the bitter prolonged struggle faced by Palestinian refugees in Gaza. The work was planned to start the day after he was killed.”
For years, NGO Monitor has documented concerns that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like NRC do little to mitigate the risks of aid diversion when operating in conflict zones and areas controlled by terrorist groups. In particular, NGO Monitor highlighted that NRC’s statements criticizing “counter-terrorism measures” – designed to prevent Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist factions from commandeering materials and funds – as “the primary obstacle to humanitarian action within Gaza” are highly problematic.
In April 2018, in a US court settlement, the NGO Norwegian People’s Aid admitted to working with Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations in Gaza.
In 2016, World Vision’s manager of operations in Gaza was arrested and is currently on trial for funneling 60% (approximately $50 million) to Hamas for use in terror tunnels, military installations, and other terrorist activities.
“The repeated instances in which international organizations are hijacked by Hamas highlights the urgent need for greater oversight by both NGOs and their donor governments,” stated NGO Monitor President Prof. Gerald Steinberg. He added, “Organizations must take vetting procedures very seriously in selecting employees, and conduct frequent financial reviews and audits to actually help the vulnerable population of Gaza and prevent diversion.”