On October 7, 2023 (which was the Sabbath and a Jewish holiday), hundreds of Palestinian terrorists poured across the border from Gaza into Israel, slaughtering over 1,000 Jews, and torturing, maiming, and kidnapping others. Gaza Palestinians also engaged in public desecration of victims’ bodies. In parallel, thousands of rockets were fired at Israeli population centers, sending millions rushing to shelters. Since then, the rockets and infiltration attempts have continued.
In response, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are funded by European governments to promote “human rights” and “international law” – including Al-Haq, Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P), Bisan, 7amleh, Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), and the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) – have refused to condemn these blatant violations of human rights and international law. In fact, they are doing the exact opposite, justifying and celebrating the attacks in an immoral attempt to grant legitimacy to terrorism and Hamas. Mostly, the NGOs use the language of “resistance” – code for targeting any and all Israelis, including civilians, though some NGOs have been explicit in defending and supporting terrorism.
The NGO statements are particularly relevant given the increasing number of European donor governments that are suspending and otherwise reevaluating their funding for Palestinians in light of the massacres. The NGO rhetoric reflects an immoral agenda that directly contradicts the human rights mandate that their government funder-enablers claim to promote.
Table of Contents
Examples of Pro-Violence Rhetoric from European-Funded NGOs
Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P)
Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR)
Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO)
Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS)
Union of Agricultural Work Committee (UAWC)
- On October 11, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced that the EU’s “humanitarian support to the Palestinian people is not in question. Yet it is important that we carefully review our financial assistance for Palestine. EU funding has never and will never go to Hamas or any terrorist entity. So we will now again review the entire portfolio in light of an evolving situation on the ground.”
- On October 9, European Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi announced that all payments from the development program of the European Union for Palestinians would be “immediately suspended. All projects put under review. All new budget proposals … postponed until further notice.” Following criticism, EU Vice President Josep Borrell stated, “The review of the EU’s assistance for Palestine announced by the European Commission will not suspend the due payments.”
- On October 9, European Union Chief Diplomat, Josep Borrell, announced “overwhelming majority” of EU states were in favor of continued support, adding the funds would “not be cancelled.’ He added “Some of the actions – and the United Nations has already said that – [such] as cutting water, cutting electricity, cutting food to a mass of civilian people is against international law.”
- On October 10, Sweden halted aid to the Palestinian territories. According to Swedish Minister for Aid and Foreign Trade Johan Forssell, “We cannot unquestioningly continue to pay out million after million of Swedish taxpayers’ money to actors who cannot unreservedly distance themselves from and condemn this type of bestial terrorist act that we have seen.”
- On October 10, the Danish government announced it “has decided to put Danish development assistance to Palestine on hold” pending an investigation.
- On October 10, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called for sustained humanitarian aid for the Palestinian territories, declaring “it would be completely wrong to cease essential humanitarian aid for the civilian population.”
- On October 9, Austria declared it was “suspending its aid to Palestinians in response to Islamist group Hamas’s deadly attack on Israel.” According to Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, the country was suspending aid totalling around €19 million.
Examples of Pro-Violence Rhetoric from European-Funded NGOs
- On October 10, Al-Haq Head of the Training and Capacity Building Unit Ziad Hmaidan wrote on Facebook, “It is written in the Hadith: ‘You must wage jihad. The best jihad is preparing for war, and it is best to prepare for war in Ashkelon’.”
- On October 10, Al-Haq Legal Researcher and Advocacy Officer Ahmed Abofoul tweeted, “It is outrageous to call on Palestinian resistance (permitted by international law) to CEASE its attacks while asking the occupying power ONLY to respect IHL.”
- On October 12, Al-Haq Legal Researcher and Advocacy Officer Aseel Al-Bajeh tweeted, “We don’t need to speak of our right to resist, for it is not a right, but a way of being & survival for Palestinians. We don’t demand our right to narrate. Our ability to narrate was never out of our hands & resistance doesn’t need the pre- approval of static int’l law codes. Its not ‘our duty to expose the bloody barbarism of zionism, their actions as a fascist state & a ruthless army are more than sufficient to undertake this task. We remain attached to our land & in our humanity, as Pal Arabs no need to prove our humanity to those who have lost it”
- On October 9, Hmaidan shared a picture on Facebook of a Palestinian terrorist Ibrahim Nabulsi aiming a gun, and wrote, “A message of intense love. The picture of one of the men of the ‘flood’ [referring to the name ‘the flood of Al-Aqsa’ given by Hamas to the murderous October 7 attacks], during a confrontation in one of the [israeli] bases that was stormed [by Palestinian terrorists]. This picture carries a thousand signs and meanings. Observe the picture that the sniper of the flood stuck on his rifle. Do you recognize who is in the picture? This is the intense love is for Ibrahim [Nabulsi].”
- On October 9, Hmaidan posted on Facebook, “To Palestine alone we give everything, until it is pleased. And for what the world wants – may it go to hell.”
- On October 11, 2023, Al-Haq Legal Researcher and Advocacy Officer Aseel Al-Bajeh tweeted, “‘The process of liberation is irresistible & irreversible & in order to avoid serious crises, an end must be put to colonialism & all practices of segregation & discrimination associated therewith’ UN resolution 1514, binding on all states!”
- On October 7, Al-Bajeh tweeted by quoting Hamas head Ismail Haniyeh, “Leave our land, get out of our faces.”
- On October 7, Board Member Neveen Abu Rahmoun posted on Facebook, “The Palestinian resistance is imposing a new stage since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa flood operation by resistance fighters infiltrating into numerous Israeli neighborhoods in the settlements, by creating points of contact, and by firing rockets of the resistance. Israel, in its turn, is constrained by this and has announced a state of high mobilization for war. The message of the resistance is clear, it has started and it shall escalate and shall impose a new reality.”
- On October 9, 7amleh Project Coordinator Mohammad Badarneh posted on Facebook, “The ‘only important’ value of a human being living under occupation is the extent of his resistance to that occupation, in all possible means.”
- On October 7, Addammer Documentation Officer (and daughter of PFLP Secretary-General Ahmad Sa’adat) Sumoud Sa’adat wrote on Facebook, “Freedom is inevitable. May you have a good morning.”
- On October 11, Sa’adat shared a picture of a Palestinian child with the flag of Palestine, writing, “They kill us and destroy everything, but we know well that we have the right [to the land] that shall not be vanish.”
- On October 12, Sa’adat, shared a picture of PFLP central committee member and the head of the prisoners department [of the PFLP] Awad al-Sultan, and wrote, “Glory to the martyrs and mercy on their spirits.”
- On October 12, Al-Dameer issued a statement claiming, “The continuation of the attacks against Gaza is a disgrace to humanity. Every minute that passes is equal to a human life.” According to the statement, “…Al-Dameer Foundation for Human Rights – Gaza, calls on all free peoples in the world to demand from their governments to pressure the Israeli occupation to stop the massacres and crimes of genocide against the civilian population of the Gaza Strip…Al-Dameer Foundation for Human Rights emphasizes the Palestinian people’s right for self-determination, which includes waging resistance against the occupation by all means, as this is a recognized right in international law. Al-Dameer emphasizes that targeting and killing civilians ‘genocide’, destroying their property, targeting the health sector, displacing civilians, and cutting off electricity and water is a crime and a clear and blatant violation against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.”
- On October 11, in an interview with Novara Media, Al-Shabaka Senior Policy Analyst Yara Hawari stated, “This was not an unprovoked attack. There is nothing unprovoked in a situation when you have people living under colonial occupation for decades and in Gaza under siege.”
- On October 11, in an interview with Sky News, Hawari stated, “this was not a provocation by Hamas. The Israeli regime has for decades placed Palestinians under colonial occupation.”
- On October 8, Al-Shabaka tweeted, “Al-Shabaka rejects the Israeli Regime’s colonial borders that work to fragment and ultimately erase Palestinian existence. Breaching these boundaries expands the Palestinian imaginary for possibilities of both resistance and collective freedom. We recognize that decolonization is not a metaphor; it is not merely statements or analysis, but an active process that demands the dismantling of colonial power and the reclamation of land. We stand alongside those committed to this effort and to the liberation of Palestinans worldwide” (emphasis added).
- On October 9, BADIL tweeted, “Impunity and double standards are no longer acceptable! In pursuit for their liberation, the Palestinian people have an equal right to resist.”
- On October 8, BADIL tweeted, “Nothing about the Palestinian resistance is unprovoked. The Palestinian people have been suffering for 75 years of colonial-apartheid regime, ethnic cleansing, forcible transfer/displacement…massacres on Palestinian towns, desecration of Palestinian holy sites…In seeking the inalienable rights of self-determination and return, resistance is the most human and legitimate act” (emphasis added).
- On October 10, Bisan Board Member Nadia Habash shared a statement on Facebook by the Order of Engineers & Architects – Beirut, writing, “Much respect for the Order of Lebanese Engineers and the president of the union Aref Yasin for this respected position which supports our legitimate fight, and for their announcement on a demonstration in support of ‘The Al-Aqsa flood…’” According to the statement Habash shared, “The resistance against the occupation by all means is a national, human and moral duty…the Al-Aqsa flood operation, which made the enemy lose its balance is a unique development in the resistance’s methods, in this historic confrontation the resistance has won and has become more powerful…May the resisting steadfast Palestinian people have a blessing of greatness and honor, and may the resistance fighter martyrs and incent martyrs have glory and eternal life. Palestine shall remain Arab and the occupation will be gone…”
- On October 10, Habash published a statement by the Professional Association Complex, which stated, “Today we look with pride on our brave resistance which is writing the most terrifying sights of strength and glory, and trampling the enemies of our nation and returning stolen rights. We congratulate this victory and attest before Allah that we are all soldiers under the command of the Palestinian resistance…Get ready, oh free man of the nation, and support your resistance in all levels, wherever you are, this is your day, a day of Allah…Long live Gaza, and long live Palestine, free and proud. May our beloved resistance go on and be unbreakable.”
- On October 11, Habash shared pictures from a demonstration “in loyalty to the blood of the [Palestinian] journalists and in anger over the criminals who are committing massacres against journalists in Gaza,” which the former participated in. Habash wrote, “the engineers association [which Habash heads] participated in this demonstration in support of the brave resistance in the revolutionary Gaza [Strip] and to affirm the support in the Palestinian narrative and image and to protect journalists…”
Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P) (Funded by Sweden, Germany, Norway, Spain, Belgium)
- On October 8, 2023, DCI-P Advocacy Officer Miranda Cleland tweeted, “It is beyond insulting and blatantly racist to assume Palestinians resisting Israeli colonization & trying to take back their land will result in anti-Semitic attacks in DC. What a joke” (emphasis added). Cleland shared a statement by the Mayor of DC condemning the Hamas attacks and committing to protect the Jewish community in DC.
- On October 9, ICHR sent a letter to UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 Francesca Albanese, the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel, and other UN Special Rapporteurs to “take all means to place pressure on Israel, the Occupying Power, to cease military attacks on Gaza and its civilian population, and to put an end to violations of international law.” According to the letter, “Since October 7, 2023, when Palestinian factions in Gaza launched the ‘Al-Aqsa Storm’ operation targeting settlements near Gaza, Israel has responded with intense retaliatory missile attacks on densely populated areas…The root causes of Israel’s actions and crimes against Palestinians stem from its discriminatory policies based on the Apartheid. Addressing these root causes, including ending the occupation, colonial settlement, and racial segregation, while acknowledging the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination, are imperative actions that the international community must take. It is essential to exert pressure on Israel, which has historically evaded accountability for its systematic assaults on Palestinians.”
- On October 8, PNGO published a statement demanding “National unity to combat the challenges and to supply international protection to the Palestinian people.” According to the statement, “In the past two days an aggressive war has been taking place as part of the occupying state’s efforts to have revenge and expand the circle of massacres against the Palestinian people, especially in the Gaza Strip. We in PNGO salute this honorable image that our people are sketching.” The statement further called for the world to “see the true reality, which is that the Palestinian people have been facing, for more than 75 years, a racist, fascist occupation…The Palestinian people are living in a national liberation phase and do not deal with the illusions of peace that is based on imposing a fait accompli. They are resisting this with all valor and sacrifice. The world must wake up today in order to achieve the rights [of the Palestinians] by prosecuting the occupying state, boycotting it, and imposing sanctions on it, and by delegitimizing its crimes until achieving the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people and ending the occupation in all its forms” (translated from the original Arabic by NGO Monitor, emphases added).
- According to Wattan, during a demonstration held “in support of the resistance in Gaza” on October 10, PMRS President Mustafa Barghouti stated, “These marches affirm the Palestinian people’s support in the resistance and that the Palestinian people is united wherever it is.”
- On October 7, in an interview with Al Jazeera, Barghouti stated, “This initiative by the resistance that we have seen is a response to Israeli settlers terror that has been taking place all over the West Bank with the protection of the Israeli army. It is a response to the fact that the Israeli army and the settler terrorists killed 248 Palestinians, including 40 children. It is a reaction to the attacks on the Aqsa mosque and the process of judaization of not only Jerusalem and the Aqsa mosque but the whole of the West Bank…but maybe politically it is also a response to those who thought that through normalization with the Arab countries they can liquidate and marginalize the Palestinian issue. It is coming back in the most possible forcible way…It shows that Israel is not almighty and also it shows what Palestinians can do when they are determined to resist for their freedom…”
Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) (Funded by EU, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, France, Germany)
- On October 13, UAWC Project Coordinator Moayyad Bsharat posted on Facebook, “What is required today from the [Palestinian] Authority is simple, really simple, that it responses, in an assertive fashion on the countries that support the Zionist terror and make it clear for them what the position of the Palestinian people is about self-determination by all means available…We Palestinian are facing a mechanism of Zionist terror and its western supporting tools. Our Arab Palestinian people shall have victory no matter the time it will take” (emphasis added).
- On October 11, Bsharat posted on Facebook, “Is there anything more beautiful than traveling by air from Lebanese airspace to Israel airspace with a glider?! [i.e. addressing the threat posed by Hezobllah to Israel] May Allah be pleased with them. #Gone_be_the_humiliation [a shi’ite phrase said in times of waging war].”
- On October 10, UAWC’s Director of Advocacy Saad el-Din Ziada posted on Facebook, “Do not hesitate in supporting the resistance, even by praising. It is our right and the protector of our dignity and dreams.”
- On October 7, UAWC’s head of the Gaza Fisherman Committee Zakaria Bakr posted on Facebook, “Complete the history and change the geography, it is the great October, October of victories.”
- On October 7, UAWC Project Coordinator Houssam Abuabdou posted on Facebook, “October 7 has witnessed the power and will of a great people.”