The Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Secretariat is a joint funding mechanism of Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark, and, until recently, Norway. The Secretariat is managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) in Ramallah and the NIRAS consulting firm. The Secretariat has been providing $6 million in 2013-2017 to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) active in BDS campaigns (boycott, divestment and sanctions) and other forms of demonization. Some of these NGOs have also promoted antisemitic rhetoric and have apparent links to terror, specifically to the PFLP terrorism organization.
The following document summarizes the recent activities of Secretariat-supported NGOs:
- 22 November: Addameer, Al-Haq, Al Mezan, and PCHR submitted a 145-page “Communication to the International Criminal Court Pursuant to Article 15 of the Rome Statute Requesting Investigation and Prosecution of The Illegal Closure of the Gaza Strip: Persecution and Other Inhumane Acts Perpetrated against the Civilian Population as Crimes against Humanity” and a video to the ICC Prosecutor.
Addameer (Received $325,000 between 2014-2016)
- 3 November: Submitted a statement about Israeli administrative practices to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. The statement does not mention that many of those arrested allegedly committed terrorist offenses.
- 6 November: Joined Stop the Wall’s campaign for the release of Salah Khawaja, a leading member of Stop the Wall. Khawaja was “an active member of the blacklisted Popular Front Liberation Party.” He served five years in prison between 1992 and 1997, and was arrested again on October 26, 2016. (For more information see: The European-Funded NGO PFLP Network.)
- 17 November: In a meeting with the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Palestine (held in conjunction with DCI-P), Addameer’s director, Sahar Francis, demonized Israel and accused the State of “torture and corporal punishment.”
Al-Haq (Received $710,000 between 2014-2016)
- 22 November: with Addameer, Al Mezan, and PCHR submitted a 145-page Communication and video to the ICC Prosecutor (see first item) as part of the ongoing “lawfare” campaign.
- 8 November: Launched “Facts on the Ground” campaign which falsely states that the “Israeli occupying forces have taken control of the water, land, gas and oil reserves, quarries and Dead Sea minerals, allowing it to sustain and expand the settlements.”
- 9 November: Promoted the BDS campaign against Hewlett Packard in a Facebook post.
Al-Mezan (Received $415,000 between 2014-2016)
- 25 October: Gave an oral statement (with Al-Haq and Badil) at the UN Human Rights Council Intergovernmental Working Group on Accountability of Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises with Respect to Human Rights. The statement accused Israel of “ongoing war crimes and crimes against humanity such as apartheid, forced displacement of Palestinians from their territory, and the transfer of Israeli civilians into occupied Palestinian territory.”
- 6 November: Published a press release on “floodgates” that “Israeli authorities periodically open” causing “damage to Gaza’s environment.” The same document accuses Israel of “continued attacks against the environment in the occupied Palestinian territory.”
BADIL (Received $370,000 between 2014-2016)
- 20 October: BADIL and Al-Mezan participated in the “Exchange of views on ensuring accountability for violations of international law in the occupied Palestinian Territories and on the UN database of businesses operating in Israeli settlements at the European Parliament in Brussels.” During the discussion, an official referred to “Israel’s creation of a coercive environment to alter the demographic composition in favor of Jewish Israeli colonizers.”
B’Tselem (Received $710,000 between 2014-2016)
- 14 October: Hagai El-Ad, head of B’Tselem, spoke at a highly publicized Arria-formula UN Security Council session, where he described Israel as committing “invisible, bureaucratic, daily violence” against Palestinians that occurs from “cradle to grave.”
Defense for Children – Palestine (DCI-P) (Received $738,000 between 2014-2016)
- 31 October: Released an article claiming that the Gaza wars “propel child labor for Palestinian kids” due to “Israel’s blockade and repeated military offenses.” In its repeated demonization of Israel, DCI-P referred to the Gaza blockade which, they alleged, “perpetuates and worsens an entirely man-made humanitarian and economic crisis,” entirely removing the context of terrorism.
- 17 November: In a meeting with the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Palestine, held with Addameer (see above), DCI-P “urged the European Union during a meeting on Thursday to pressure Israeli authorities to end ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system.” In accusing Israel of violations, Khaled Quzmar, general director of DCI-P, erased Palestinian stabbing and other terror attacks against Israeli civilians that were perpetrated by minors.
Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) (Received $710,000 between 2014 and 2016)
- 31 October: Director Raji Sourani spoke at an event sponsored by the World Council of Churches. Sourani asserted that Israel’s blockade of Gaza was “illegal” and “criminal,” and that the Palestinians are living “in one of the biggest manmade disasters.”
- 22 November: Sourani was quoted in the press release promoting the 145-page communication to the ICC falsely claimed that “The siege on Gaza is unprecedented and is a form of collective punishment. The aim of the closure and the occupation is to de-develop Gaza, to strip Palestinians of their dignity and send Gazan society back to the Middle Ages.”