On December 16, 2021, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA-oPt) released its Humanitarian Response Plan, ostensibly to address humanitarian needs “in Area C, Hebron H2 and East Jerusalem in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip” in 2022.
As in previous years, UN-OCHA is exploiting the humanitarian label to advance legal attacks against Israel (“lawfare”) and to channel funds to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group.
- The plan’s first “strategic objective” is not the provision of humanitarian aid. Rather it is for Palestinian and international advocacy groups to “monitor and document” alleged violations by Israel and to lobby institutions such as the UN and International Criminal Court: “The rights of Palestinians living under occupation, including those living under the blockade and other restrictions, are protected, respected and promoted in accordance with IHL and IHRL, while duty-bearers are increasingly held to account” (emphasis added).
- UN-OCHA’s implementing partners include two NGOs that were designated as terrorist organizations by the Israeli government due to their links to the PFLP: Health Work Committees (HWC) and Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC). Over the past two years, employees from these two NGOs have been arrested, indicted, and put on trial for the August 2019 murder of 17-year-old Rina Shnerb and for implementing an elaborate scheme to defraud donors for the benefit of the PFLP.
- As opposed to conducting independent investigations into whether it has been partnering for years with terror-linked NGOs, UN-OCHA repeats the claim that, “absent evidence substantiating the allegations, the designation of six Palestinian human rights and humanitarian NGOs as ‘terror organizations’ by the Israeli authorities in late 2021 risks further undermining the humanitarian community’s ability to provide assistance and protection to Palestinians throughout the oPt.”
- UN-OCHA is also attempting to raise millions of dollars for numerous NGOs involved in various forms of political warfare against Israel (see pages 69-70 of the Humanitarian Response Plan Working Document).
For further information, see “UN OCHA-oPt: Exploiting Humanitarianism to Advance Political Warfare.”