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Founded in 1985, the Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC) is a “Palestinian, non-governmental, health, grass-rooted, non-profit organization” that claims to “provide comprehensive health services…to all sectors of the Palestinian people…through its health centers and community programs.” UHWC uses demonizing rhetoric, including accusing Israel  of “Urbanicide,” “Genocide,” and “mass killing of civilians.” UHWC signed the 2005 Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS and helped organize the 2007 First Palestinian Conference for the Boycott of Israel (BDS).

UHWC is identified by Fatah as a PFLP “affiliate” and in a 1993 USAID-engaged audit report (by the Democratic Institutions Support Project) as “the PFLP’s health organization.” Citing PFLP connections, on June 9, 2015, Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon declared that “the group of people or institutions or association known as the ‘Union of Health Work Committees-Jerusalem [HWC]’…or any other name that this association will be known by, including all of its factions and any branch, center, committee or group of this association is an unauthorized association, as defined by the Defense Regulations” (p.6489).

UHWC’s “sister organization” (as referred to by Viva Salud, one of its Belgian partners) in the West Bank and Jerusalem is Health Work Committees (HWC). HWC states that “among the outcomes of the post-Oslo situation, as a result of the geopolitical situation, the Health Work Committees formed separate administrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Each department has worked relatively independently to maintain a healthy political and developmental vision and action strategies that take the site’s privacy.”

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, instead calling for the “liberation” of all of “historical Palestine,” regularly by means of terror.

In addition to UHWC, 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.


UHWC’s terror affiliation is antithetical to human rights norms and principles. Due to its affiliation with the PFLP, the provision of funds to UHWC 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.

UHWC Organizational Ties to PFLP

  • UHWC is identified by Fatah as an official PFLP “affiliate” and bya 1993 USAID-engaged audit as the “the PFLP’s health organization.”
  • As academic scholar Glenn E. Robinson, who also identifies UHWC as a “PFLP-affiliated health committee,” explains that “Many-probably most-doctors who joined the UHWC had political leanings similar to the leftist PFLP. As health committees tied to other political factions also existed, it was common for doctors and staff to work with that health group which reflected their politics. Both the providers and, to a lesser degree, the recipients of these medical services were aware of the larger political agenda. The ability to translate medical-and other social-services into a particular political vision was the key to the struggle within the Palestinian community for ideological hegemony” (emphasis added).
  • HWC’s Youth Development Program, “A community, cultural, and social development program that provide services to Jerusalemite youth through ‘Nidal Center,’” was shut down by Israeli authorities from 2009 to 2012 because, in the words of the Jerusalem District Court, it served as “a place of action of the [PFLP] organization.” According to the Jerusalem District Court, “following the closure of the [Center], the PFLP began operating under the guise of the non-profit the Union of Health Work Committees – Jerusalem…on June 9, 2015 at the request of the Minister of Defense the non-profit was an unlawful organization…”

Selected UHWC Staff Members with Ties to PFLP

Numerous UHWC staff members, founders, board members, and senior and subordinate staff members have ties to the PFLP terror group.

Dr. Rabah Muhanna: Referred to as one of UHWC’s “founders” and former “head.”

UHWC mourning Muhanna’s death (May 5, 2019) (Source: UHWC Gaza, Facebook, May 5, 2019:

Muhanna speaking at a PFLP event. (Source: PFLP, “Popular Front mourns member of its political bureau…” May 5, 2019:

Muhanna’s coffin escorted by PFLP armed terrorists (May 14, 2019) (Source: on file with NGO Monitor.)

Dr. Mohammed Abdel Qader Abu Samr: A “founder1 and was a UHWC “member.”2

  • Described by the PFLP as a “comrade fighter” in a 2016 statement mourning his death.

PFLP poster mourning Abu Samr death (Source: PFLP, “Popular Front in the Gaza Strip mourns comrade…” March 28, 2016:

UHWC mourns Abu Samr death (Source: UHWC Gaza, Facebook, March 17, 2016:

Abu Samr holding an automatic rifle next to a child (From “The martyr Mo-hammed Abdel Qader Abu Samr” video) (Source: Lina Zeater, YouTube. April 11, 2016:

Magdi Yaghi: UHWC treasurer;3board member” in 2016-2019; and 2016 “deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors.”

Yaghi at workshop for the launch of the UHWC strategic plan for 2019-2023 (Source: Magdi Yaghi, Facebook, March 20, 2019:

In February 2019, Yaghi participated in a PFLP memorial service for PFLP founder Maher Yamani (Source: PFLP, “Popular Front in the Gaza Strip holds memorial…” February 4, 2019:

Dr. Tayser Al Sultan: Executive Director in 2015.4 A March 2019 US Embassy document lists Al Sultan as a “director” of UHWC. Al Sultan attended UHWC’s 2019 general assembly.

Graduation ceremony for the ‘Pioneers of Return’ camps in the Gaza Strip” (PFLP, Popular Front Organizes Graduation Ceremony…” August 30, 2015:

Tayser Al Sultan (far right) viewing the “Pioneers of Return” ceremony (Shaker Jouda Facebook, August 30, 2015:

Graduation ceremony for the ‘Pioneers of Return’ camps in the Gaza Strip” (PFLP, “Popular Front Organizes Graduation Ceremony…” August 30, 2015:

Fares Nasser: Director of Administration and Human Resources.5

Nasser’s Facebook post about the event he organized is his home celebrating the 50 Anniversary of the establishment of the PFLP (Source: Fares Nasser, Facebook, December 3, 2017:

Nasser shared pictures of the event he hosted featuring the PFLP flag and portraits of Ahmad Sa’adat and Abu ali Mustafa, the current and former PFLP Secretary-General (Source: Fares Nas-ser, Facebook, December 5, 2017:

Suhail Al Tanani: Referred to as the “Direction of the Union’s Communication and Advocacy Department” in an October 2019 interview posted on UHWC’s website. He was previously, in 2017, referred to as a Community Centers coordinator.6

Suhail Al Tanani during a 2018 UHWC workshop (Source: UHWC Gaza Union of Health Work Com-mittees, Facebook, January 12, 2019:


Dr. Fadi Al Ajrami: In 2016, Al Ajrami was elected to UHWC’s Board of Directors. He is also referred to as a member of the Board of Directors in a May 2015 UHWC article.

Mariam Abu Dakka: In May 2019, attended the UHWC “extraordinary general assembly.” She also attended the 2018 UHWC general assembly. Abu Dakka’s formal position within the NGO is unclear.

Abu Dakka wearing a PFLP t-shirt standing next to a PFLP armed terrorist (on file with NGO Monitor)

Abu Dakka attending UHWC’s 2019 “extraordi-nary general assembly” (Source: UHWC Gaza Union of Health Work Committees, Facebook, May 12, 2019:

Abu Daqqa posing next to Leila Khaled, a Palestinian terrorist who participated in armed hijackings of TWA Flight 840 in 1969 and El Al Flight 219 in 1970. (Source: Mariam Abu Dakka, Facebook, December 19 2012:

Mohammed Abuzaid: Radiographer.7

  • Numerous posts on Abuzaid’s Facebook page demonstrate his connection to the PFLP, and in particular to its armed branch.

Abuzaid wearing a military uniform at a PFLP event (Source: Mohammed Abuzaid, Facebook, De-cember 21, 2013:

Abuzaid wearing a UHWC vest (Fadi al-Khatib, Facebook, screenshot taken on July 2, 2019 an on file with NGO Monitor.)

Abuzaid wearing a military uniform standing next to PFLP armed terrorists (Source: Mohammed Abuzaid, Face-book, December 12, 2017:

Ahmed M Alhawajra: UHWC paramedic field worker (on file with NGO Monitor).8

  • Alhawajra’sFacebook posts (below) indicate his involvement with the PLFP terror group and its armed branch (on file with NGO Monitor).

Photo of Alhawajra featuring destruction and the PFLP media office logo

Alhawajra wearing a UHWC vest during the violent demonstrations along the Israel-Gaza border

Alhawajra wearing a combat vest with a PFLP logo

Fadi al-Khatib: according to his Facebook account, is a “specialist” at UHWC (on file with NGO Monitor).9

Al-Khatib wearing a military uniform at a PFLP event. Armed PFLP terrorists stand next to him. (Source: Fadi al-Khatib, Facebook, screenshot taken on July 2, 2019 and on file with NGO Monitor.)

Al-Khatib during a UHWC workshop funded by the Belgium government. ALhawajra (see above) is seen standing behind him (Source: Yousef Balousha, Facebook, November 22, 2018:

Al-Khatib holds a poster featuring PFLP terrorists. A child wearing military uniform is seen in the front holding an automatic rifle (Facebook, February 2, 2019:

UHWC’s 2019 General Assembly

On July 27, 2019, UHWC held its 2019 general assembly. Several senior PFLP members attended the event, including Jamil Mizher and Kayed al Ghoul, both members of the PFLP’s Political Bureau of the PFLP,  and Abu Nidal Toman , a “member of the Central Committee of the PFLP.”

PFLP Political Bureau Member Jamil Mizher at the UHWC 2019 General Assembly (Source: UHWC Gaza, Facebook, July 27, 2019:

Photo of Jamil Mizher (Source: Bisann, November 22, 2018: