- This report analyzes the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (the “Secretariat”), its funding to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and their activities, as well as developments regarding the Secretariat’s management and funding. This report will further highlight legislation and funding reviews concerning government funding to NGOs that have been launched in Switzerland and Denmark.
- Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands established the Secretariat and jointly fund Israeli and Palestinian NGOs through this mechanism. From 2013 to mid-2017, the Secretariat had a projected budget of $17.6 million from, and, as of July 2017, had transferred at least $14 million to NGOs.
- Through the Secretariat, these governments support highly politicized NGOs that are involved in various anti-Israel activities, including the whitewashing of violence and terrorism, legal warfare (“lawfare”) against Israeli officials, BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns, advancing a “1948 agenda,” exploiting the false “apartheid” analogy to discredit Israel, and even promoting antisemitic propaganda. Some of these groups also have alleged ties to terrorist organizations.
- Four funding recipients have links to the PFLP terror organization.
- Fifteen of 24 core funding recipients support BDS campaigns, constituting 56% of core funding.
- The Secretariat is managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) and an international consulting company, NIRAS.
- Secretariat Manager Mustafa Mari has shared and quoted Facebook posts that echo classic antisemetic rhetoric.
- The Secretariat Manager and other Secretariat employees earn exorbitant salaries, that far exceed average wages for professionals in the West Bank.
Based on the analysis in this report, NGO Monitor recommends that the governments of Secretariat donor countries:
- Undertake independent reviews of the activities and rhetoric of grantees, their staff, and board members.
- Establish clear grantee-guidelines to ensure that recipients of Secretariat funds promote peace and mutual cooperation, and do not undermine these values
- Ensure that all Secretariat management, staff, and partners adhere to these same values and do not promote hate speech, incitement, and/or antisemitism.
- In line with existing EU and donor country legislation, ensure that funding is not allocated to organizations that have ties to terror and/or promote hate speech, incitement, antisemitism (for instance EU Council Decision [CSFP] 2016/1136, EU Resolution 2017/2692(RSP), Article 261bis of the Swiss Criminal Code, Swiss Parliament Resolution 16.3289, and Dutch Parliament Resolution (tvv 23432, NR. 430)).
- Independently verify NGO statements and claims submitted to decision-makers prior to incorporating them into official documents and policies.
- Encourage inter-parliamentary dialogue in order to create best practices in NGO funding via the exchange of information.
The Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (Secretariat) is a joint mechanism for funding non-governmental organizations (NGOs), created by the governments of Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.1 Since 2013, the Secretariat has provided NGOs with more than $14 million in the form of either core funding (more than $11.5 million) or project funding ($2.6 million). The funds are managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) and an international European multidisciplinary consulting company, NIRAS.
NGO Monitor research shows that the Secretariat funds some of the most prominent organizations active in delegitimization and other anti-Israel campaigns. Many of these NGOs have glorified terrorism, have alleged links to EU-designated terror groups, promote antisemitism, and/or are active in anti-peace BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) and lawfare campaigns against Israel.
This funding goes against the Secretariat donor countries’ foreign policies and commitments to promoting peace, human rights, and a two-state framework in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
In light of these concerns, a number of donor governments – Switzerland, Denmark, and reportedly the Netherlands – are in the process of reassessing their previously unquestioned support for Secretariat grantees.
The following report systematically analyzes the Secretariat’s funding to NGOs, its problematic management, lack of oversight, flawed reporting, and secretive funding structure, and demonstrates how the Secretariat and its grantees have politicized human rights. The report also explores significant developments in donor countries following public discussion triggered by NGO Monitor research.
WHITEWASHING “RESISTANCE:” BLURRING THE LINES BETWEEN NONVIOLENCE AND VIOLENCE
Many NGOs, in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, manipulate the terminology of human rights and international law in order to justify violence against Israelis. This is achieved via the blurring of moral distinctions and a gradual escalation from “defending human rights” to “peaceful resistance” to “popular resistance” and finally to outright violence. “Resistance” is the term used by Palestinians to refer to armed groups that carry out attacks against Israel, including the PFLP, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad.
A number of Secretariat-funded NGOs partake in this “whitewashing” of violence and terrorism against Israelis. Many of these same organizations, furthermore, also have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – a designated terrorist organization by the EU, US, Canada, and Israel. The NGO ties to the PFLP range from establishment and operation of NGOs by the PFLP itself to NGO officials and staffers being convicted of terrorism charges by Israeli courts. Some of these individuals have been denied entry and exit visas by Israeli (and Jordanian) authorities due to security concerns.
The problematic response to violence is also evident in the Secretariat’s own publications. For instance, in its 2015 Annual Report, the Secretariat ignores terrorism against Israelis and portrays Israel’s response to this violence as “excessive use of force” (pg 5). Like its grantees, the Secretariat also downplays Palestinian violations of international law and fails to address issues within Palestinian society.
Women’s Affairs Technical Committee
- The Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC) received $530,000 in core funding from the Secretariat (2014-2016).
- On May 15, 2017, WATC helped inaugurate a youth center in Burqa, near Nablus. The center was named after Dalal Mugrabi, a terrorist who in 1978 murdered 38 civilians, including 13 children, in the Coastal Road Massacre. Funding for this building was provided by Norway, UN Women (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women), and the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Local Government.
- On May 26, 2017, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende stated, “the glorification of terrorist attacks is completely unacceptable, and I deplore this decision in the strongest possible terms. Norway will not allow itself to be associated with institutions that take the names of terrorists in this way. We will not accept the use of Norwegian aid funding for such purposes.”
- He added, “We have asked for the logo of the Norwegian representation office to be removed from the building immediately, and for the funding that has been allocated to the centre to be repaid. We will not enter into any new agreements with either the Palestinian Election Commission or UN Women2 in Palestinian areas until satisfactory procedures are in place to ensure that nothing of this nature happens again.” (emphasis added).
- On May 30, 2017, in response to criticism from the Danish media regarding funding to WATC, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement claiming:
“The naming of the woman center, which did not include Danish co-financing, was made by the local village councils in Burqa on their own. Neither Norway nor the NGO (WATC), which Norway has cooperated with the project have been aware of it. Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen has already last week prompted a thorough review of the organizations we support. We must be absolutely sure that the Danish support will contribute positively to human rights activities in the Palestinian territories. It may prove necessary to withdraw support for some of them. And we are not part of new contracts with organizations in the Palestinian territories, before the outcome of the review.” (NGO Monitor translation, emphasis added)
- While the May 30 statement claimed that WATC did not know of the name of the center, Danish journalist Allan Sorensen reported that WATC helped rehabilitate the center. Unlike Norway and UN Women, WATC was present at the center’s inauguration. WATC posted a photo album of the center’s inauguration on its Facebook, which it removed on June 1, 2017.
On June 1, 2017, WATC removed this and other photos of the inauguration from its Facebook. Note: WATC logo (top-left), Norwegian Government logo (bottom-left), and UN Women logo (bottom-right). Photo: WATC Facebook, previously found at: https://www.facebook.com/WATCPAL/photos/pcb.1513686471989171/1513684438656041/?type=3&theater.
On June 1, 2017, WATC removed these photos of the inauguration from its Facebook. Photo: WATC Facebook, previously found at: https://www.facebook.com/WATCPAL/photos/pcb.1513686471989171/1513684438656041/?type=3&theater.
- On June 2, 2017, the Danish Foreign Minister stated, “I am outraged that WATC, claiming to work for human rights, not just glorified a terrorist, but also abused the trust of a generous people like the Danish. It is totally unacceptable, and I cannot too strongly denounce it. Denmark and Danish tax money should under no circumstances be used for anything that in any way glorify or promote terrorism. Therefore, we now require of WATC that they pay Danish support back.” He added that “…it has been shown that WATC has published an article in its magazine in February 2016 on the terrorist, that the Women’s Center was named after in mid-May. The article makes the terrorist as a role model. It is also today announced that Director of WATC attended the inauguration of the center and the simultaneous naming.”
- On June 30, 2017, in correspondence with NGO Monitor, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs confirmed that, “in cooperation with the other donor countries of the Secretariat, the Netherlands has decided to suspend cooperation with WATC until further notice.”
- On August 21, 2017, the Swiss government confirmed that the Secretariat as a whole is suspending funding to WATC pending a review to be concluded in Fall 2017.
- On August 30, 2017, the Swedish Foreign Ministry confirmed that Sweden has also frozen funding to WATC.
- Addameer received $325,000 in core funding from the Secretariat (2014-2016).
- Addameer is an official PFLP “affiliate,” and several of the NGO’s employees were convicted of terrorism charges by Israeli courts. The NGO’s chairperson and cofounder, Abdul-latif Ghaith, was banned by Israel from travelling internationally due to his alleged membership in the PFLP, and Khalida Jarrar, Addameer’s vice chairperson, is a senior PFLP official. In 2015, Jarrar was indicted for various offenses, including active membership in a terrorist organization (the PFLP) and inciting violence through a call to kidnap Israeli soldiers. Jarrar accepted a plea bargain and was reportedly convicted on “one count of belonging to an illegal organization and another of incitement,” receiving a 15 month prison sentence with an additional 10 month suspended sentence. She was released from prison on June 3, 2016. Jarrar was again arrested in July 2017, “following her involvement in promoting terrorist activity through the PFLP.”
- Furthermore, Addameer refers to Palestinian prisoners convicted of security offenses as “political prisoners,” including those convicted of murder and attempted murder of Israeli civilians.
- On February 8, 2017, Addameer released a report accusing Israel of economically exploiting Palestinian “political prisoners” describing this as “part of Israel’s sophisticated system of control put in place in order to break apart Palestinian resistance.” The statement criticizes “the integration of the PA into the Israeli prison system,” claiming it has “made Palestinian society responsible for facilitating the imprisonment of those who resist the occupation and colonization of Palestinian land” (emphasis added). The report additionally alleges that Israel’s “policies and practices are designed to neutralize prisoners identified as political threats by forcing them to dedicate their energies to struggling for basic material needs, rather than to the kind of struggles for which they were originally imprisoned.”
- Al-Haq received $710,000 in core funding from the Secretariat (2014-2016).
- Al-Haq is a leader in BDS and “lawfare” campaigns, has proposed sabotaging the Israeli court system by “flooding the [Israeli Supreme] Court with petitions in the hope of obstructing its functioning and resources.”
- Al-Haq’s General Director, Shawan Jabarin, has alleged ties to the PFLP terrorist organization and, as such, has been denied exit visas by Israel and Jordan. In 2007, the Israeli Supreme Court stated that “…the petitioner [Shawan Jabarin] is a senior activist in the PFLP terror group…acting some of the time as the CEO of a human rights organization, and at other times as an activist in a terror organization which has not shied away from murder and attempted murder, which have nothing to do with rights…”
- In response to demands to end the Palestinian Authority’s policy of paying salaries to prisoners jailed for carrying out violent attacks, Jabarin stated that, “If their rights are eroded we are heading for a real crisis in Palestinian society and in due course toward an explosion.”
Palestinian Center for Human Rights
- Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) received $710,000 in core funding from the Secretariat (2014-2016).
- Raji Sourani, founder and director of PCHR, was “prohibited from leaving Palestine(sic) from 1977 to 1990.” In an interview, Sourani admitted that he served “a three-year sentence [1979-1982] imposed by an Israeli court which convicted him of membership in the illegal Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.” Sourani was imprisoned an additional three times “in 1985 and 1986” and held in administrative detention in 1988. From 1986 to 1987 he was “restricted from legal work for one year by an unprecedented Israeli military decision issued by the Israeli Military Governor.” He was also denied a US entry visa and was thus unable to travel to participate in the BDS-organized Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RToP) in 2012.3 In February 2014, the PFLP organized a ceremony in Gaza honoring Sourani for winning the “Alternative Noble Prize.” Dr. Rabah Muhana, a member of the PFLP Political Bureau, delivered a speech at the prize ceremony.
- PCHR also consistently labels terrorist attacks as a part of the “legitimate right to resist the occupation.” In April 2016, Sourani declared that “I think resistance is our right and our obligation.”
Stop the Wall (the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign)
- Stop the Wall (via Palestinian Farmers’ Union) received $65,000 in project funding from the Secretariat (2014).
- Salah Khawaja, a “leader” of Stop the Wall was “an active member of the blacklisted Popular Front Liberation Party.” He was arrested by Israeli security forces seven times between 1983 and 1992 and served five years in prison between 1992 and 1997. Khawaja was arrested again on October 26, 2016. On March 5, 2017, he was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.
Defense for Children International – Palestine
- Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P) received $738,000 in core funding from the Secretariat (2014-2016).
- DCI-P’s mission is “promoting and protecting the rights of Palestinian children in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as other international, regional, and local standards.” DCI-P, however, frequently publishes false and unverifiable information and accusations regarding alleged “child abuse” by Israeli security forces in its reports.
- Several DCI-P board members have alleged ties to the PFLP. Mahmoud Jiddah, reportedly a “PFLP member,” was imprisoned by Israel for 17 years for carrying out “grenade attacks” against Israeli civilians in Jerusalem in 1968. Hassan Abed Aljawad is similarly described as a Bethlehem-based “PFLP activist” and a “leader,” who represents the PFLP at public events. From 2007 to 2014, Shawan Jabarin – an alleged PFLP activist and director of Al-Haq (see above) – was a member of DCI-P’s Board of Directors. Alleged PFLP affiliate Nassar Ibrahim was also a member of DCI-P’s Board of Directors.
Joint NGO Statements
- Many Secretariat-funded NGOs are members of the “Palestinian NGO Network” (PNGO), a Palestinian NGO umbrella organization comprising of 67 Palestinian NGO member organizations. Secretariat funded NGOs that are members of PNGO include Al-Haq, Addameer, BADIL, DCI-P, Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC), Miftah, and Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and ing (WCLAC).
- In June 2017, PNGO condemned Norway for pulling funding from a youth center named after Dalal Mughrabi. The organization 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” (emphases added).
- In July 2014, Addameer, Al Mezan, BADIL, Hurryat, and Land Research Center signed a “Joint Call to Action,” which called for an “intensified popular struggle” against Israel.
FUNDING FOR NGOS THAT PROMOTE ANTISEMITISM
Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC)
- The Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC) received $710,000 in core funding from the Secretariat (2014-2016).
- Randa Siniora, General Director of WCLAC and former General Director of Al-Haq, has stated, “Although resistance against occupation and its arbitrary practices is legitimate under international law, and these acts are considered a part of the Palestinian people’s resistance and struggle against occupation in order to achieve their right to liberation and independence, the occupation forces call it ‘terrorism’ or ‘destructive acts.’”
- One of the most illustrative examples of whitewashing violence and antisemitism is Manal Tamimi, a WCLAC employee. Tamimi frequently utilizes antisemitic and violent rhetoric and imagery on social media. In August 2015, Tamimi tweeted, “I do hate Israel, i (sic) wish a thrid Intefada (sic) coming soon and people rais (sic) up and kills all these zionist settlers everywhere.” In September 2015, on Yom Kippur (a fast day and the holiest day of the year in the Jewish calendar), Tamimi tweeted, “Vampire zionist celebrating their Kebore day by drinking Palestinian bloods, yes our blood is pure & delicious but it will kill u at the end.”
- On June 16, 2017, mere ho urs after a stabbing and shooting attack in Damascus Gate, Tamimi shared a photo on Facebook captioned “I am NOT peaceful with those who commit crimes against my Palestine,” adding: “3 martyrs at Damascus gate # Jerusalem minutes before Iftar for alleged attack.”
- Far from condemning her actions, WCLAC instead filed a complaint with the United Nations over the “Frequent targeting of Palestinian human rights defender: Mrs. Manal Tamimi.”
- Tamimi was also hailed as a “prominent human rights defender” by Addameer, AlHaq, DCI-P, BADIL, Al Mezan, and PCHR in a November 2016 joint submission to the “UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in the Palestinian Territories Occupied Since 1967” Michael Lynk.
- In May 2017, following a complaint from NGO Monitor’s Legal Advisor, Tamimi was removed from a UN Human Rights Council report that originally described her as a “human rights defender.”
- BADIL received $370,000 in core funding from the Secretariat (2014-2016).
- BADIL was founded to promote a Palestinian “right of return” and is a leader of international BDS campaigns against Israel. BADIL holds annual “right of return contests” and publishes antisemitic cartoons on its website. BADIL also employs “resistance” rhetoric, such as stating that “throwing stones has been the symbol of Palestinian resistance for decades.”
- A cartoon that won a monetary 2nd place prize in BADIL’s 2010 Al-Awda Nakba caricature competition is a blatant representation of classic antisemitic tropes, and includes a Jewish man, garbed in traditional Hasidic attire, with a hooked nose and side locks. He stands above a dead child and skulls, holding a pitchfork styled as a menorah dripping with blood. Other posters published in 2015 and 2016 show the destruction of the state of Israel.
- 2010 2015 2016
The 2017 first-prize winning poster shows a man tearing up the 1917 Balfour Declaration:
In 2012, BADIL published a cartoon explicitly against the peace process depicting a tsunami of keys rising up and washing over what is supposed to be the “negotiation table” and two people, one of whom is wearing a kippah with a Jewish star on it.
FUNDING FOR NGOS THAT SUPPORT BDS CAMPAIGNS AGAINST ISRAEL
The Secretariat transfers millions of dollars to NGOs that support discriminatory BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel. BDS tactics are a form of political warfare used against Israel, intended to isolate the State economically, culturally, and politically. This is in direct contradiction to the foreign policies of the donor consortium countries, which promote peace, support a two-state framework, and explicitly oppose boycott efforts.
A majority of NGOs receiving Secretariat core and project funding support BDS campaigns against Israel (See Appendices I and II below).4 Of 24 core funding recipients, 15 support BDS campaigns. These NGOs received $7.3 million of the $11.5 million disbursed in core funding – 63% of the core funding budget for 2014-2016.
In 2014, the Secretariat provided “emergency funding” to nine NGOs during the 2014 Gaza war (see more in “Lawfare” section below). Of these nine emergency funding recipients, seven support BDS campaigns. The amount of “emergency funding” distributed to each NGO is undisclosed.
FUNDING FOR NGOS THAT ENGAGE IN LAWFARE ATTACKS AGAINST ISRAEL
Secretariat-funded NGOs are some of the leaders of “lawfare” campaigns, which aim to exploit international institutions in general and the International Criminal Court (ICC) in particular for antiIsrael campaigns. Lawfare also includes the proposed sabotaging of the Israeli court system by “flooding the [Israeli Supreme] Court with petitions in the hope of obstructing its functioning and resources.” These tactics were adopted at the NGO Forum of the 2001 Durban Conference, and serve as an integral part of a strategy of demonizing and delegitimizing Israel. These lawfare campaigns seek to erase the context of Palestinian terrorism targeting Israeli civilians, and to obstruct Israeli attempts at defending itself against it.
In 2014-2016, NGOs engaging in lawfare tactics received over $3.1 million from the Secretariat. These NGOs include Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Al-Haq, Al Mezan, Adalah, BADIL, and Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P). For example, in 2014, several Secretariat-funded NGOs, including Addameer, Al Mezan, and BADIL, called for a “legal intifada, an intensified popular struggle and more boycotts, divestment and sanctions” against Israel.
|NGO||Core-Funding (2014-2016)||Emergency Funding (2014)|
|Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)||$710,000||Yes|
|Defense for Children International - Palestine||$738,000||Yes|
Emergency Funding during the 2014 Gaza War
On August 2, 2014, during the 2014 Gaza war, the Secretariat announced “emergency funding” to nine NGOs for use in documenting “large scale violations of human rights and international humanitarian law – the majority against Palestinian civilians and civilian objects” in Gaza. With this additional funding, the Secretariat supported “current and future documentation and investigation efforts by CSOs [civil society organizations] for the purposes of assisting and supporting national and international mechanisms” such as the UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) investigation and the campaign to open cases against Israelis at the ICC. Should these cases go forward and result in a decision against Israel, these legal precedents could be used against Secretariat donor armed forces as well as NATO, whose practices are far less protective of civilians than those of the IDF.
The nine NGOs received $240,000 in total, though the amount per NGO was not released. The NGOs (Al-Dameer, B’Tselem, BADIL, Breaking the Silence, DCI-P, Al-Mezan, PCHR, Women’s Affairs Center, WATC) each have an extensive record of making unsubstantiated allegations of Israeli “war crimes,” while disregarding clear Hamas violations. In addition, some of these NGOs played a pivotal role in providing dubious and inaccurate statements to the UNHRC Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza war and the discredited 2009 UN Goldstone inquiry.
This problematic funding was highlighted in the Amuta for NGO Responsibility’s 2015 submission to the UN Human Rights Council. The statement explains that “the high level of repetitiveness and volume of Secretariat-funded publications, suggests that the same claims were packaged by several NGOs in order to flood the UN, governments, and media with dozens of publications, falsely creating a façade of many unique and individual sources of research on the war.” Some of these NGOs also relied on Hamas as the source for military claims without disclosing this fact.5
Furthermore, none of these organizations possess the requisite military and legal expertise to assess potential violations of international humanitarian law. These NGOs, as demonstrated in their reports, do not have the capacity to address information pertaining to military objectives, war casualties, and other factors that are necessary to determine complicity in war crimes or crimes against humanity. The Secretariat itself acknowledges this in its 2014 Annual Report, where it notes that Breaking the Silence received emergency funding during the 2014 Gaza war, even though NGO officials “were not even sure they would be able to interview soldiers or even feel safe to issue testimonies. The Secretariat was ready to accept even one testimony” (pg 84, emphasis added).
According to the Secretariat’s 2015 Annual Report, “one of the highlights of the work done in 2015” by NGOs receiving Secretariat funding was “The joint submission to the ICC by 4 human rights organisations (Al-Haq, Al Mezan, Addameer [sic, Al-Dameer] and PCHR) regarding the 2014 Gaza conflict” (pg 24).
Al-Haq, Al Mezan, Al-Dameer, and PCHR partnered to “document” alleged “crimes against humanity and war crimes” in order to prosecute Israeli politicians and military. Al-Haq and PCHR have alleged ties to the PFLP terrorist organization (detailed above).
The four NGOs’ submission to the ICC was not publicly released. The Secretariat did, however,release a description of the submission in its 2015 Annual Report with no concern for the accuracy of information gathered:
“The communication contains detailed witness accounts of killings, destruction of property, torture and attacks on civilians. This is the first time in Palestinian history that Israel’s actions in the oPt are put on the agenda of the ICC. It is worth noting that the Secretariat has encouraged partner CSOs to jointly document human rights violations during the conflict, and to coordinate their advocacy at the international level for increased efficiency and stronger message and impact. The documentation for this report has been carried out using resources the Secretariat provided through emergency grants to 9 partner CSOs, approved during the 2014 conflict. This report is of vital importance, given the fact that the Israeli authorities have refused to cooperate with the UN Col, and at the same time the report is based on information and evidence collected directly from the field, which would be of great value for any relevant proceedings” (pg 8, emphases added).
No funding appears to have been provided by the Secretariat to document Palestinian violations of human rights or humanitarian law directed at Israeli civilians.
Al-Haq’s press release regarding the submission claimed that the confidential report showed “a widespread or systematic attack pursuant to or in furtherance of a policy put in place by the highest Israeli civilian and military leadership, including members of the Israeli security cabinet, and qualify as both crimes against humanity and war crimes.”
As an example of alleged Israeli “war crimes and crimes against humanity,” the press release highlighted the testimony of 57-year-old Bouthaineh Al Louh from Deir Al-Balah in Gaza, claiming that “Israel attacked our home in Deir al Balah whilst my family was fast asleep.” Al-Mezan and PCHR have each separately documented this incident stating that “eight people were killed.” An additional family member died later of her wounds.
The NGOs make no mention of military activity in the area, nor do they acknowledge the presence of combatants. A cursory examination of this case shows that it is based on distortions and halftruths. A month after the incident, Mohammed Mustafa al-Louh (killed in the strike), was acknowledged by Hamas as a “martyr,” when the terrorist organization released a poster of him in militant garb and buried him wearing a Hamas headband.
The Secretariat’s apparent support for the attempt to prosecute Israeli officials in the ICC sharply contrasts with how the Secretariat discusses complaints against the Palestinian Authority, which it considers with great hesitancy:
“Failure by governmental duty bearers, in Gaza and the West Bank, to adhere international human rights is measured by the number of complaints received by partners, though this is not necessarily accurate; some complaints may not be substantiated or credible, and not all victims submit complaints, and some complaints are received by organizations not partners of the Secretariat. Also, the number of complaints listed is not all PA-related, and it is not possible for the Secretariat to disaggregate numbers by authority against which complaint is lodged” (emphasis added).
THE SECRETARIAT’S MANAGEMENT
While all funds are provided by the four donor countries, they are managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) and a European international consulting company, NIRAS. The Secretariat has its own dedicated staff that plays a key role in determining which NGOs receive funding.
Mustafa Mari has served as the Secretariat Manager since the inception of the Secretariat in 2013.6 The Secretariat Manager participates in the process of choosing which NGOs receive Secretariat grants and sits on the Technical Appraisal Committee (TAC), which “is responsible for evaluating all proposals.” The Secretariat’s Fund Management Manual further explains that the Secretariat recommends funding decisions to the Steering Committee, which “approves (or gives no-objection) to funding as proposed by the Secretariat” (pg 13). After funding decisions are made, the Secretariat Manager “may be invited to explain [to the Steering Committee] the reasons for recommend application(s) or provide further information or clarifications.” The Secretariat Manager also signs the final agreements between the Secretariat and the NGO grantees.
On June 6, 2017, Mari shared and quoted a Facebook post that echoes classic antisemitic imagery, blaming the “Zionist octopus lobby” for Arab political disputes and stated that “Hamas [is not a] terrorist movement [but a] national resistance movement.”
“It is a new chapter of the unending demonic plan led by the government of the UAE against every free person and against everyone who supports them, for the sake of the UAE government itself and for the sake of the Zionist lobby octopus, the Western intelligence, and the wealthy people who stole their wealth from the poor.
The government of UAE is the one who leads today a war on Qatar as a punishment for supporting the Arab spring. The state of Qatar is also targeted for its continual support to the Palestinian issue and for its refusal to recognize Hamas as a terrorist organization, while it is a popular resistance movement.” (NGO Monitor translation, emphases added.)
In a May 21, 2017 post, Mari wrote:
“We may disagree with Hamas a little bit, as we may disagree with others. But, we will absolutely not accept the alignment with Trump and we do not accept his position to put Hamas on the list of terrorist organizations. This is a mistake, man.
The world must stand with our oppressed people, and to remedy the historical mistake of displacement of our people and violation of their rights. And for that, there is no need for Hamas or others.” (NGO Monitor translation, emphases added.)
Furthermore, since 2007, Mari has been employed by Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) – the institute where the Secretariat is based and managed. In his capacity at IoL-BZU, Mari is currently “Lead Researcher, Human Rights.”
Mari chaired a session at a 2013 IoL-BZU conference where participants discussed Israel’s “colonial policy that dated back at least to the 1930s” and the “need for new legal frameworks which make the occupation illegal, criminalize Israeli practices, and support unification of Palestine and Palestinians.” It is unknown if this conference occurred before or after he took on the role of Secretariat Manager.
The conference resulted in a February 2014 publication, “Advocating for Palestinian Rights in conformity with International Law: Guidelines.” This document is a strategic manual for exploiting legal terms and rhetoric to demonize and isolate Israel internationally (“lawfare”), as well as to emphasize that Israel, regardless of its borders, is among “racist regimes which are absolutely prohibited in their entirety” (emphasis added). The report was posted prominently on the Secretariat’s Facebook page.7
At the Secretariat’s March 2014 launch event, Mari “…highlight[ed] the difficulties faced by the Palestinian people and the need for supporting the human rights and international humanitarian law CSO sector, while reminding the audience of the apartheid-like realities that duty- bearers must address.” (emphasis added).
On June 8, 2017, Birzeit University published a statement, titled “Birzeit University’s Team Boycotts Israeli Team at the International Criminal Moot Court Competition at the Quarter Final of the Competition.” The statement claims that:
“The Birzeit team refused to play against the Israeli team, openly boycotting the Hebrew University’s team indicating that such move comes in line with the university’s commitment towards the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS), which advocates boycotting Israeli institutions that support or otherwise benefit from Israel’s occupation. The team asked the competition’s organizers to change the competing teams to avoid competing against the Israeli team; however, such change was not granted. Given these facts our students refused to play against a team representing a state that is so deeply involved in war crimes and human rights violations” (emphasis added).
Furthermore, according to a September 2014 article in Haaretz (“When a Haaretz journalist was asked to leave a Palestinian university,” September 28, 2014), an Israeli journalist was asked to leave a conference at Birzeit University due to a policy “stipulating that Jewish Israelis, are not allowed on the university grounds.” Various faculty members confirmed this policy.
Following this incident, Birzeit University issued a statement that did not dispute the claims of a policy barring Jewish Israelis and justified discriminating against “people according to our national interests and cause.”
Secretariat Management Staff Salaries
The original contract signed between Switzerland and NIRAS in 2013 listed the salaries of professional and support staff members. These already high salaries were raised in both 2014 and 2015. In 2015, Secretariat Manager Mustafa Mari earned a monthly salary of $10,442.
In contrast, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the average daily wage in the “West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Israel and the Israeli Settlement” was NIS 103.9. At this rate, the average monthly salary for wage employees in 2015 was approximately NIS 3,100 ($800). For work centered in Ramallah, where nearly all the Secretariat staff are located, the average monthly salary for wage employees in 2015 would have been approximately NIS 2,825 ($725).
From the original contract signed between Switzerland and NIRAS:
From the Secretariat’s Financial Report 2015:
The Secretariat’s original budget for August 2013 to June 30, 2017 was $17.6 million. The largest portion of the budget (73.8%) was earmarked for grants, 80% of which were earmarked for core funding projects, and 20% for project funding.
According to the Secretariat’s 2015 Financial Report, funds were distributed as follows:
According to the Secretariat’s Financial Report 2015, the overall budget breakdown was:
Sweden is considered to be the “lead donor” of the Secretariat, but it is unclear what having that title entails as Denmark has actually contributed more funds to the consortium. According to the 2015 Financial Report, Denmark provided 35% of funding to the Secretariat, followed by Sweden at 27%, Switzerland at 23%, and the Netherlands at 15%.
Total contributions for each country, as reported in the 2014 Financial Report:
Total contributions for each country, as reported in the 2015 Financial Report:
By the end of 2016, the Secretariat’s budget had increased by nearly $2 million. Given the following additional grants, the total Secretariat budget as of December 2016 was approximately $19.4 million.
- $277,477 in “emergency funding” (August 2014).
- $600,000 from Norway (2016). Use unclear.
- $1 million from Sweden to “top-up” NGO core grants (2016), increasing total core funding grants distributed to $11.4 million.
2016 Core Grant “Top-Ups”
In November 2016, the Secretariat’s quarterly newsletter revealed a massive funding gap to NGOs in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. The reported accumulated funding gap of nearly $3 million apparently affected all core funding recipients.
In response, Sweden contributed over $1 million to “be used exclusively for the topping up of existing core grants.”
Eleven grant recipients “with secured funding totaling 9.9 million USD, and a gap of 2.4 million dollar (funding gap of 19%), for which group the Secretariat proposed to provide additional funding totaling 1.03 million. This increases the average contribution of the Secretariat to the budget of the said CSOs, in 2016, from 14% to %22.”8
DEVELOPMENTS IN DONOR COUNTRIES
In 2013-2017, the Danish government provided $5.7 million to the Secretariat. In May 2017, Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen signed agreements for a renewed funding cycle, which would provide the Secretariat with an additional $8.5 million (DKK 56 million for 2017-2020), as part of an overall $66.5 million funding package to the Palestinian Authority.9
However, on June 2, 2017, following the discovery that the Women’s Affairs and Technical Committee (WATC), a Secretariat grantee, participated in rehabilitating a youth center named after a terrorist (See “Whitewashing” above), the Danish Foreign Minister halted distribution of Danish government funding to organizations via the Secretariat. The statement explained that “all payments of Danish money to organizations within the donor secretariat” are frozen pending a “thorough investigation of all the organizations.”
According to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs grants portal, in 2016, Norway committed NOK 5 million (approximately $600,000) to the Secretariat. This initial funding, first reflected in the Secretariat’s July 2016 newsletter, was supposed to have been distributed in 2016 and 2017. On November 21, 2016, the Secretariat released its
On May 27, 2017 Norway’s embassy in Israel confirmed on Twitter that Norway no longer funds the Secretariat.
In the period of 2013-2017, Switzerland provided CHF 3.8 million ($3.8 million) to the Secretariat. In June 2017, Switzerland added approximately CHF 1 million ($1 million) to its budget for the Secretariat, for a total contribution of CHF 4.8 million ($4.8 million) (2013-2018). As of July 2, 2017, Switzerland had distributed CHF 4.5 million ($4.5 million).
On June 13, 2017, the Swiss Council of States adopted a resolution to “amend the laws, ordinances and regulations so that Switzerland can no longer subsidize, even indirectly, development cooperation projects carried out by NGOs involved in racist, antisemitic or hate incitement actions.” This is an amended version of a March 8, 2017 resolution that passed the Swiss National Council (111 to 78 with 4 abstentions).
As part of his comments in the Council of States, Didier Burkhalter,10 head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, stated that NGOs must use Swiss funds “exclusively for what was agreed upon and that their work is not, in one way or another, even indirectly, diverted to actions that can be understood as related to violence.
Burkhalter outlined extensive changes in policy, including additional measures to contracts with NGOs, including that:
- “There will be a clause prohibiting all form of discrimination, racism, incitement to hatred. This is identical to what is already in current contracts for the struggle against corruption.”
- “We will also strengthen the risk analysis before any contract is signed,” and
- “We will continue to strengthen all aspects of surveillance.”
The Netherlands committed €3.9 million to the 2013-2017 funding cycle. In May 2017, the Netherlands distributed €1.13 million to the Secretariat, raising its total contribution to €3.7 million. According to the Dutch “Open Aid” website, the Netherlands’ total budget until 2018 is €3.1 million.
On June 14, 2017, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu stated, “I commend the Dutch government and my friend, Prime Minister Mark Rutte, for their decision to stop financing the Palestinian terrorist NGO that extols the memory of Dalal Mughrabi and to reconsider the financing that the Netherlands provides to other NGOs.”
In 2013-2017, Sweden provided $5 million to the funding consortium. Sweden’s “total committed amount” is currently $9.2 million, reflecting an additional $4.2 million through 2018. As of July 2, 2017, Sweden has distributed $7.7 million to the Secretariat. The government has not engaged in any critical debate regarding Secretariat funding.
CORRUPTION AND MISCONDUCT
Following a 2015 corruption allegation related to the Secretariat, the Swedish corruption audit department found no wrongdoing on the part of the Secretariat. However, in a document dated July 28, 2016, the audit “report revealed shortcomings and problems with the contractual agreement. The conclusion is that such a contractual structure creates major risks of irregularities, and [Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency] SIDA should not carry out efforts in his form in the future.” (emphasis added).
According to documentation available from SIDA, in 2016, “The [Swedish] consulate in Jerusalem has received information from the corresponding Swiss colleagues about irregularities in the form of attempts at bribery from local organizations to receive support from the secretariat.” It is unclear if SIDA has changed its contract with the Secretariat in response to the auditor’s findings.
The timing of this complaint in September 2016 corresponds to the 2015-2016 project funding cycle, as explained on the Secretariat website, “The Secretariat launched a second call for project funding proposals on 29 April 2015. 94 applications were received, of which the Steering Committee, on 13 August 2015, selected 20 applications for funding.” The complaint does not reveal which NGOs were involved with the attempted bribery.
The Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs also reported an allegation of embezzlement and bribery. It is unclear if this is the same case reported by SIDA. In a document dated August 2016, the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs stated:
“Reference is made to the previous report dated 14 October 2015 regarding allegations of embezzlement and bribery in the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat in Palestine.
On 30 November 2015 Sweden as the lead donor on behalf (sic?) the donor consortium commissioned Ernst & Young in Ramallah to undertake an internal control review of the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat.
Based on Ernst & Young’s final report the Department for Corruption Investigation at the Director General’s Office of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) informed the donors that ‘Ernst & Young did not report any finding of financial mismanagement or corruption when carrying out their assignment” and concluded that the allegations were unfounded.’”
INDEPENDENT REVIEW NOTES NGOS’ LACK TRANSPARENCY
In May 2016, the Danish consulting firm Strategihuset conducted a mid-term review of the Secretariat’s management, looking into the roles and activities of NIRAS and Birzeit University. This review was followed by a management response from NIRAS and the Secretariat steering committee.
The independent review portrayed a grim picture of the Secretariat, noting that there are “differences in expectations and interpretations of situations which are all likely to turn into personal conflicts.” The review further acknowledged the incompetency of some NGO recipients to uphold their contractual obligations to donors. This included financial transparency requirements, resulting in delayed funding. Rather than adhere to donor requirements for financial transparency, reporting, and auditing, NGO recipients criticized these as “interference” and “micro-management” by donors.
The review further considered “allegations of ‘lack of transparency’, bias and favouritism,” but “was not able to find substantial documentation to support allegations of bias or favouritism beyond the favouritism that occurs when grant managers and administrators consider their own, previous experiences with and knowledge of an organization in their judgement of a new proposal.”
MISAPPROPRIATION OF FUNDS BY JERUSALEM-BASED WOMEN’S RIGHTS NGOS
Jerusalem Center for Women (JCW) was originally approved to receive $50,000 from the Secretariat in project funding in the 2015-2016 cycle. However, it did not receive the funds.
In January 2015, Kvinna Till Kvinna (KtK, a Swedish NGO) investigated Jerusalem Center for Women, stating:
“The International Office of Jerusalem reported to the investigative group that there are suspicions that JCW has not used funds appropriately. Kvinna Till Kvinna initiates an investigation and finds that JCW used 17,000 USD to pay salaries, rent and the like, instead of using (sic?) in contracted activities.
Kvinna Till Kvinna terminated their cooperation with JCW. Sida has a dialogue with Kvinna Till Kvinna and will consult with a reallocation of the budget and the equivalent of $17,000 will be deducted from the next payment.”
According to the Secretariat’s mid-term review, this lack of funding could have been to due to “scarcity of funds in the sector.” Specifically the report notes that “support for women’s rights organizations and activities were for instance completely omitted from the second round of project funding, although gender rights is a key priority to several members of the consortium.”
APPENDIX I: CORE FUNDING SUPPORT FOR BDS NGOS
|Name of Organization||Total Grant Amount||BDS Support|
|Addameer||$325,000||Signed: Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS|
|Al-Dameer||$230,000*||Signed: Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) Statement on BDS Movement|
|Al Mezan||$415,000*||Signed: Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS|
|Al-Haq||$710,000||Signed: Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) Statement on BDS Movement|
|BADIL||$370,000*||Signed: Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS|
|Defense for Children International (DCI-P)||$738,000*||Signed: Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS|
|Democracy and Workers' Rights Center in Palestine (DWRC)||$300,000||Encourages people to join BDS movement|
|Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)||$710,000*||Signed: Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) Statement on BDS Movement|
|Palestinian Working Women Society for Development (PWWSD)||$582,000||Signed: Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS|
|The Jerusalem Legal Aid & Human Rights Center (JLAC)||$410,000||Signed: Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS|
|MIFTAH||$330,000||Signed: Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS|
|Women Affairs Technical Committee (WATC)||$530,000*||Signed: Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS|
|Women Studies Center-Jerusalem Women Studies Center-Jerusalem||$400,000*||Signed: Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS|
|Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC)||$710,000||Signed: Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS|
|Women's Affairs Center (WAC)||$520,000||Signed: Palestinian Women’s Call for Worldwide Women’s Endorsement of BDS|
APPENDIX II: 2015 SECRETARIAT PROJECT FUNDING TO BDS NGOS
|NGO||2015 Project Funding||Support for BDS|
|Arab Thought Forum||$97,500||Signed:Palestinian CivilSociety Call forBDS|
|Independent Youth Forum||$30,821||Signed:
Society Call for
|Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem (CCPRJ)|
in partnership with BADIL and the Arab Studies Society GIS Department
Society Call for
|Palestinian Counseling Center||$100,000||Signed:
Society Call for
|Jerusalem Network for Community|
Society Call for
|Land Research Center||$70,000||Signed:
Society Call for
|The Palestinian Youth Association for Leadership and Rights Activation|
Society Call for
Society Call for
APPENDIX III: SECRETARIAT CORE-FUNDING RECIPIENTS (2014-2017)
The data in the following chart reflects the updated funding amounts as of October 29, 2017. The data in the chart found in the PDF version of this report reflects the funding amounts as of October 1st.
|Breaking the Silence||$605,000*|
|Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP)||$1,098,000*|
|Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center inPalestine (DWRC)||$465,000|
|Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)||$1,115,000*|
|Palestinian Working Women Society for Development||$787,000|
|Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I)||$515,000|
|Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI)||$566,000|
|The Jerusalem Legal Aid & Human Rights Center (JLAC)||$605,000|
|Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC)||$674,000*|
|Women Studies Center||$555,000|
|Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC)||$1,295,000|
|Women’s Affairs Center||$855,000*|
*Indicates receipt of an additional “emergency” grant in 2014, amount per NGO undisclosed, see “Lawfare” section above.
APPENDIX IV: SECRETARIAT PROJECT-FUNDING RECIPIENTS (2015-2016)
|Claimed Objective of Project|
|PalVision||$85,320||Increase access to justice for Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, through contributing to address HR and IHL violations perpetrated by the Israeli occupation. Such procedures include house demolitions, land confiscation, revocation of EJ residency and discriminatory zoning and planning, within the wider context of forced population transfer. The project aims to increase EJ rights holders’ access to information about their rights inherent in HR and IHL and available mechanisms to counter the procedures of the occupation that compromise inherent HR, and to increase national and international stakeholders’ awareness of and continuous access to updated information about HR and IHL violations perpetrated by the occupation authorities in EJ.|
|Ir Amim||$40,000||To hold Israeli duty bearers accountable, in accordance with Israel’s obligations as an occupying power, for the protection of the health, safety and education rights of Palestinian residents of the neighborhoods beyond the Wall, and the wholesale denial of socio-economic rights placing them at constant threat of displacement from the city.|
|$97,500||The project aims to empower grassroots in East Jerusalem to conduct bottom-up human rights activism, particularly in empowering CBOs to provide the function of monitoring, documentation, and reporting on cases and violations of human rights.|
|Sawa Organization||$70,000||This project’s first objective is to enhance protection of Palestinian minors by empowering them to benefit from their human, social and cultural rights, pursuing accountability for the violations of their rights and mitigating the impacts of such violations. The second objective is to increase awareness among members of the international community about violence by Israeli security forces against Palestinian minors and the state's noncompliance with its obligations under IHL and IHR.|
|$30,821||This project aims to develop the capacity of Palestinian activists in East Jerusalem to effectively monitor the abuses they face; collect and verify testimonials from victims; and research, document instances of Israeli violence, discrimination, forced displacement and nationalist hate crimes.|
|$70,000||Strengthen the respect of human rights and the commitment to the principles and laws of HR and IHL.|
|The Association for|
Civil Rights in
|$50,000||Foster a discussion about the "two systems of law" in the West Bank, exposing and challenging the discrepancies that exist in every aspect of life between Jews and Palestinians. Secure access for Palestinians living in Area C to land, water, housing and development, by challenging practices that result in forcible displacement. Conduct comprehensive mapping and improve the situation of Palestinian children in the criminal justice system in EJ.|
|Civic Coalition for|
In partnership with
Badil and the Arab
Studies Society GIS
|$50,000||CCPRJ proposes to mainstream the international law framework of population transfer, including related legal instruments, as a framework guiding efforts at ending forcible displacement of Palestinians and Israeli settlement activity in the OPT (including East Jerusalem); and gather evidence and enhance understanding of population transfer in the particular context of occupied East Jerusalem and the adjacent West Bank (Israeliproclaimed “greater Jerusalem”), including its concrete (criminal) elements, scope and impacts.|
|$100,000||To build child protection capacities and advocacy efforts in East Jerusalem, with focus on psychosocial rights and the connection between political violence and intra-community violence against the child.|
|WAC MAAN||$70,000||To contribute to upholding the human rights of the Palestinians in EJ and Area C, who face poverty, social disintegration and displacement due to lack of services and economic deprivation, by helping them exercise the rights guaranteed under international humanitarian law. Facilitate the ability of 800 EJ residents to overcome systemic blocks to the optimization of their socioeconomic rights on both sides of the SB through legal counselling, legal intervention and rights literacy. Reduce the exploitation of Palestinian workers by Israeli employers in EJ and Area C by providing legal services, rainings, and organizing and by securing the implementation of Israeli labour law on Israeli employers.|
|$69,457||Legal awareness: people in occupied EJ will become aware of their basic legal and social rights and entitlements, be able to access these rights through legal and paralegal activity, and able to disseminate knowledge about these rights to their friends and neighbors. Awareness raising will focus on the issues threatening forced displacement as well as those involving basic rights and entitlements.
Empowerment: residents of EJ cut off by poverty and social exclusion will become empowered to define needs, set goals, and work together to achieve positive change. Offer representation at both individual and systems levels. Centers staff and volunteers will work with EJ residents who come into JCAN centers for individual assistance and who will be provided with legal and paralegal advice whereby people are empowered to follow up on their cases-issues on their own with minimal intervention by the centers; people’s cases are taken on by one of the centers and followed up on with court representation by lawyers from the centers; organizations will also take “case to cause” on a major issue facing the communities aiming at
exposing discriminatory laws and the protection of people’s rights.
|Emek Shaveh||$50,000||Promote the human rights of the Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem to their lands and cultural heritage in the vicinity of where they live.|
|$70,000||Strengthen the role of Palestinian CSOs, NGOs, CBOs, local authorities and victims in defending land and housing rights of residents of area 'C' in Hebron governorate. Define and implement strategies and promote unified and efficient defense mechanisms against Israeli violations of housing and land rights. Provide technical and legal support to HR violations victims to access the Israeli justice system and transform victims into active participants. Support women and children as they are among the most vulnerable and affected. This is an attempt to improve the human rights status of the targeted communities. The immediate objective is to promote, organize, and systemize the defense work of the Palestinian people to their rights of adequate housing and free use of land at the project targeted areas.|
for Leadership and
Rights Activation -
|$98,958||The project contributes to mitigating the impact of settlers based violence on children, adolescents and community members.|
|Hurryyat||$60,000||Strengthening the culture of respect to HR and IHL and the Palestinian basic law which guarantees human basic rights, through awareness building sessions that will be organized with the security, intelligence and police officials, with a special focus on UNCAT.|
|$50,000||Contribute towards sustaining the resiliency and empowerment of families affected by human rights violations in four marginalized communities in Hebron.|
|$86,652||To contribute to the integration of persons with disabilities in Gaza Strip, and amend the policies of responsible bodies that provide buildings and reconstruction schemes licenses, to ensure the harmonization of the buildings to the needs of individuals with disabilities.|
|$94,325||Advocating the rights of displaced families whose homes were demolished during the Israeli war on Gaza during the summer 2014.|
APPENDIX V: SECRETARIAT PROJECT-FUNDING RECIPIENTS (2014-2015)
|$25,000||Upgrading the capacity of the Human Rights Clinic, to be more independent in teaching and supervising documentation of human rights violations in Jerusalem.|
|The Civic Coalition for|
Palestinian Rights in
|$50,000||To empower Palestinian civil society stakeholders in education in occupied East Jerusalem, including parents, students, school teachers and administrators, to play an effective role in combating De-Palestinization and protecting and promoting Palestinian culture and identity in East Jerusalem education.|
|$65,000||To contribute to promoting and protecting youth rights in the Gaza Strip through developing youth capacity in using media and social media in advocating for and protecting their rights and developing community awareness and a culture that respects human rights.|
|Centre for Women's|
Legal Research &
|$45,000||To contribute to promoting women's rights and gender equality in the Gaza Strip based on IHRL and IHL.|
|Hurryyat||$50,000||To strengthen the culture of respect for HR and IHL towards a torture-free Palestinian society, enhanced by the rule of law.|
Institute of International
Studies - Birzeit
|$70,000||To improve political processes that underpin human rights, in particular representation, in the refugee camps of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.|
|Kav LaOved||$60,000||To uphold Israeli labor law and protect and promote the rights of Palestinian workers employed by Israelis in Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.|
|Land Research Center||$72,000||To provide technical and legal support to victims of land confiscation and house demolition in five villages in the Hebron governorate to access the Israeli justice system.|
|$68,211||To empower 140 young community leaders in the Gaza Strip to mainstream HR and IHL into their social actions and influence duty bearers to fulfill their obligations towards the rights- holders through addressing and advocating for specific human rights violations in policy dialogue.|
|Ma'an Network||$56,000||To establish a Palestinian culture that demands government accountability for and protection from human rights abuses, through raising awareness of citizens' legal rights and establishing a channel through which the public can demand transparent investigations into human rights violations and the systematic reform of government institutions abusing human rights.|
|Musawa - The|
Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and Legal Profession
|$45,000||The project adopts a holistic approach in working towards a justice section of the Palestinian constitution based on HR/IHL and societal consensus.|
Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy
|$80,000||To empower citizens to excersize accountability over the laws produced in the absence of a legitimate and functioning PLC.|
|The Palestinian Farmers Union as hosting organization of the Stop the Wall Campaign||$65,000||To contribute to a situation of accountability and respect for human rights by all duty bearers by creating mechanisms to implement the ICJ decision related to the separation Wall.|
|PARC - The|
|$97,850||To contribute to protecting the agriculture farmlands and farmers' rights based on IHRL and IHL.|
|$55,000||To strengthen the Palestinian Bar Association constituency and Gaza legal community engagement in civilian protection to uphold human rights and promote access of victims to justice.|
|PCS - The Palestinian|
Consultative Staff for
|$65,000||To contribute to institutional and policy reforms that advance the rights of people with disabilities through documenting violations of persons with disabilities rights, advocating for the adherence to the Palestinian Disability Law and the International Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.|
|PSCCW - Psycho Social|
Counselling for Center
|$50,000||To contribute to ending violence against women in the Palestinian society, particularly killing under the pretext of the so called honor, through enhancing the application of human rights and international law principles.|
|Rabbis for Human|
|$70,000||To address the ongoing human rights violations taking place in the oPt in general and in the so-called 'Gush Etzion' region specifically, by providing legal representation to enable victims of human rights violations to seek redress and ensure protection of their rights.|
|$99,290||To promote the role of education in the formation of informed, responsibile and active citizenry prepared to abide by, defend and promote human rights culture, humanitarian law and the principle of respect for life and human dignity.|
|Women for Life|
|$35,000||To contribute to reduce all kinds of violence against women and empower divorced women (before consummation) in Salfit and Qalqilya, socially and legally so that they are able to defend their rights.|
- In 2016, Norway committed NOK 5 million (approximately $600,000) to the Secretariat. All funds were distributed by January 2017.
- On May 26, 2017, UN Women asked for its logo to be removed (http://palestine.unwomen.org/en/news-andevents/stories/2017/05/centre). UN Secretary-General António Guterres also issued a statement distancing the UN from the center (http://www.timesofisrael.com/un-chief-pulls-support-for-palestinian-womens-center-named-after-terrorist/).
- The Russell Tribunal on Palestine has no judicial basis and exploits a legal facade in order to create an appearance of neutrality and credibility. The sessions have included “jurors” who examine expert “witnesses,” with the “findings” later published. The witnesses and jurors are biased, the outcome is predetermined, and the findings have no credibility.
- Data in this section is based on NGO Monitor research that considers all core-funded Secretariat NGOs that actively
promote BDS through petitions, calls, and/or statements. See Appendix I and II.
- Human Rights Watch acknowledged that, “While researchers at Palestinian human rights groups inside Gaza have experience in documenting the conduct of hostilities, they do not have specialized weapons training and so rely on the engineering unit of the Palestinian police to analyze shrapnel and other remains in order to determine which weapons were used and how.”
- From 1992-1997, Mari worked in the legal department of Al-Haq, an organization with alleged ties to the PFLP terrorist organization (see below).
- As of May 2017, the Secretariat’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/HRIHLSecretariat) is no longer publicly accessible. It is unclear if it has been hidden to public view, or removed.
- In the original Secretariat Fund Management Manual (on file with NGO Monitor), the Secretariat stated, “The Secretariat will fund up to 20% of the CSO entire budget (based on the average funds paid/expensed during the last three years) and up to $300,000 per year as a high ceiling, conditioned with not encountering any double funding/dipping or double financing” (Section 4.1) This condition is no longer found in the current Fund Management Manual, available at http://rightsecretariat.ps/files/Fund_Management_Manual_9_March_2016.pdf#page=16.
- It is not clear why Secretariat funding is included in funding provided to the Palestinian Authority.
- On June 14, Burkhalter resigned from his position, effective October 2017.