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Founded in 1995, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is a Palestinian non-governmental organization (NGO) claiming a human rights agenda, mostly relating to Gaza. Its focus is attempting to galvanize international pressure and punitive measures against Israel in the legal realm. It has targeted numerous Israeli officials, including former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livini, with universal jurisdiction arrest warrants in European countries and New Zealand. PCHR lobbies UN bodies intensively, accusing Israel of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity, and was instrumental in pushing the International Criminal Court to launch an investigation into Israel.

In addition, as documented in this report, PCHR has multiple links to the PFLP terror organization, designated as such by the EU, the US, Canada, and Israel.

Nevertheless, the UN and foreign governments provide PCHR with extensive funding and rely on it as a source of information.

This relationship between a self-proclaimed human rights NGO and a terror group is antithetical to human rights norms and principles. As such, PCHR is an inappropriate partner for the UN and democratic governments.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)

Founded by George Habash in 1967, the PFLP is a secular Palestinian Marxist-Leninist organization, originally supported by the former Soviet Union and China. The PFLP is a terrorist organization, designated as such by the EU, the US, Canada, and Israel. The PFLP is involved in suicide bombings, shootings, and assassinations, among other terrorist activities targeting civilians, and was the first Palestinian organization to hijack airplanes in the 1960s and 1970s.

The group was responsible for the assassination of Israeli Minister of Tourism Rechavam Ze’evi in 2001, and its members joined with the Baader-Meinhof Gang (a West German radical group) to hijack an Air France Tel Aviv-bound flight in 1976, landing it in Entebbe, Uganda. PFLP members took credit for the house invasion and murder of the Fogel family in 2011 and was responsible for the massacre at a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood in 2014 where four worshipers and an Israeli Druze police officer were murdered. The terror organization also praised its “comrades” for their role in the murder of Israeli Border Police office Hadas Malka, and wounding of four other Israelis in a June 16, 2017 attack in Jerusalem. In August 2019, a PFLP terror cell carried out a bombing against Israeli civilians, murdering 17-year-old Rina Shnerb, and injuring her father and brother.

The PFLP has never recognized the State of Israel, and opposes all negotiations with Israel, instead calling for the “liberation” of all of “historical Palestine,” regularly by means of terror.

NGO Monitor has identified a broad network of Palestinian NGOs claiming to advance human rights or humanitarian interests that have links to the PFLP terror group.  These connections include current and former NGO board members, officials, and employees who served in the PFLP or spoken on its behalf at public events and taken part in PFLP forums.


PCHR’s terror affiliation is antithetical to human rights norms and principles. Due to its affiliation with the PFLP, the provision of funds to PCHR is in likely violation of international, EU, and domestic terror financing and material support laws. The organization is therefore an inappropriate partner for governments and individuals seeking to further human rights in the region.

PCHR’s Organizational Ties to the PFLP

According to information posted on the PFLP website, on June 27, 2015, the PFLP’s prisoner committee participated in a workshop organized by PCHR. The event was held “in solidarity” with Khader Adnan, a member and “leader” of the terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, during his two-month long hunger strike. During the event, PFLP prisoner committee member Hani Mezher called on PCHR to “exert a double effort to make urgent contacts with all institutions and raise the issue of prisoners with the international community and the free world so we can save his life.”

PCHR Staff with Ties to the PFLP                 

Raji Sourani: General Director3

  • In 2013, the Swedish Right Livelihood Award Foundation awarded Souranithe Right Livelihood Award, commonly known as the Alternative Nobel Prize.”
    • According to the PFLP’s website, the terrorist organization sent “leader” and PFLP Central Committee member Rabah Muhanna to PCHR’s offices to congratulate Sourani. PCHR Chairman Riyad Al-Zaanoun “thanked the Popular Front for the visit, stressing the important national role it took upon itself in the field of adherence to Palestinian national rights and principles.”
    • On February 16, 2014, the PFLP held a ceremony honoring Sourani for receiving the award. Several members of the PFLP’s Gaza Central Committee4 attended, including its chief, Jamil Mizher.5
      • During the ceremony Sourani stated that “I was in the ranks of the Popular Front, and there were comrades who taught us with their own hands. This organization has given us much more. We hope that the direction and the sense of belonging that were planted inside us will remain in our minds. We don’t apologize and don’t regret our past, we are proud that once we were members of this organization and we fought in its ranks” (emphasis added).

Raji Sourani accepts award from the PFLP on February 16, 2014. From right to left: PCHR General Director Raji Sourani, PFLP Central Committee member Rabah Muhanna, and PFLP Central Committee member Mariam Abu Daqah
(Source: Al Watan Voice, “The people honor the fighter Professor Raji Sourani in recognition of his role in transmitting the message of our people,” February 17, 2014:

Another photo of Sourani received the award. The banner reads “Recognizing the distinguished professor, Raji Sourani on receiving the Alternative Nobel Prize, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.”
(Source: PCHR, “PFLP honors Lawyer Raji Sourani for Winning ‘Alternative Noble Prize,’” February 20, 2014:

Raji Sourani standing at the award ceremony with the head of the PFLP in Gaza and PFLP Central Committee member Jamil Mizher (far right) (Source: Al Watan Voice, “The people honor the fighter Professor Raji Sourani in recognition of his role in transmitting the message of our people,” February 17, 2014:

Raji Sourani participates in a PFLP-organized book launch of a publication by PFLP leader Ahmed Sa’adat. (From right to left) Raji Sourani, writer Abdel Nasser Farawana, and PFLP Central Committee member Allam Ka’abi. (Source: PFLP, “The Popular Front in the Gaza Strip launches the book ‘Echo of Enclosure’ by Commander Ahmed Saadat,” November 14, 2017:

  • Sourani stated that Israel prohibited him from leaving Gaza in 1977-1990.
  • Sourani was imprisoned by Israel from 1979-1982 having been convicted of membership in the PFLP. According to a 1995 article in the Washington Report, Raji Sourani 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…”

Jaber Wishah: Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors until 2017.

Picture Samir Kuntar, Jaber Wishah’s Mother, and Jaber Wishah from a video about Samir Kuntar (Source: Hager Press, “Jaber’s mother the Palestinian mother to Samir Kuntar mourns…” Youtube (2:05), December 22, 2015:

  • In response to Kuntar’s death in December 2015, the “Resistance Committees” offered “condolences” to Wishah’s mother. The Palestinian Resistance Committees (PRC) is a Gaza-based terrorist organization. PRC officials arrived clad in military uniforms and armed with assault rifles. Wishah personally greeted these members, including PRC spokesman Abu Mujahid.8


  • In 2014, Wishah participated in a PFLP event  where a “committee of the PFLP led by Comrade Jamil Mizher, member of the Political Bureau, Comrade Hani Khalil, the liberated prisoner Jaber Wishah… honored more than ninety martyrs’ families” (see Appendix I).
  • On May 24, 2014, Wishah took part in a PFLP event honoring the group’s Central Committee (see Appendix I).

Bassam al-Aqraa: Former Head of Training Unit

Screenshot of memorial service notice for Bassam Aqraa from the PFLP Information Office’s Facebook page (Source: PFLP Information Office, Facebook, February 17, 2019,

Anwar Matar: Administrative assistant, Gaza Office9

  • According to Arabic language media, Matar appears to have been active in the PFLP in the late 1980s and was arrested several times by Israel.
  • In 2016, Matar met with a PFLP representative in Tunisia, presenting him with a letter from the Director of the Prison Affairs Unit requesting support on behalf of Palestinian prisoners. In the article, Matar is referred to as a “released prisoner.”
  • In 2008, according to the book Palestinian Documents for the Year 2008, Matar was a member of an initiative to resolve a dispute between the senior Islamic Jihad and PFLP officials Jamil Mizher, Rabah Mahana, and Ghazi Sourani.

Khalil Shahin: Head of Economic and Social Rights Unit10

  • In 2013, PFLP organized a political seminar on“ways to develop solidarity with prisoners.” Members of the PFLP’s Central Committee and “PCHR researcher Khalil Shanin” spoke at the seminar.

Appendix I: Jaber Wishah’s Participation in PFLP Events

Jaber Wishah participating in a May 2014 Gaza event honoring members of the PFLP Central Committee (Source: PFLP, “Honoring the Central Committee, Picture,”

Photos from the May 2014 Gaza event honoring members of the PFLP Central Committee (Source: PFLP, “Honoring the Central Committee, Picture,”

Jaber Wishah embracing members of the Popular Resistance Committees terror group at a December 2015 Gaza event mourning Hezbollah terrorist Samir Kuntar (Source: Palestine Today, “Photos: Resistance Committees support the struggle of Umm Jabor Washah by Quoting Samir Qantar,” December 2015:

Jaber Wishah (center) participating in a July 2014 PFLP event in Gaza, honoring the families of “martyrs” (Source: Naba News Agency, “Photos…People honor the families of the martyrs of the center mass rally,” July 4, 2014:

Appendix 1: Jamil Mazhar at PFLP Youth Military Summer Camp