Dutch Aid Money Supported Terrorists

The Netherlands is suspending its donations to the Palestinian Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) indefinitely, pending an investigation into its links with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – a terrorist organisation.

Foreign Minister Stef Blok and Development Minister Sigrid Kaag admitted to the Dutch parliament on Tuesday that the Netherlands paid part of the salaries of two men suspected of involvement in killing 17-year-old Rina Shnerb in August last year. As well as being on the staff of the UAWC, the two men were also members of the PFLP.

Rina Shnerb - victim of terroristsRina Shnerb was killed by a terrorist bomb in August 2019

The ministers wrote to the Dutch parliament in response to a question from three right-wing parties. Whilst the Foreign Minister claimed that she was not previously aware of the links between UAWC and PFLP, a Dutch-Israel advocacy organisation and UK Lawyers for Israel contacted the government in May 2019 to highlight those connections.

In a separate move, research by the Israeli think tank ‘NGO Monitor’ prompted them to write to the Dutch government in October 2019 and again in June 2020 before the problem gained this latest attention.

Particularly troubling is NGO Monitor’s report that the UAWC:

‘has not published any financial data, donor information, or sources of funding on its website
since 2014, reflecting a complete lack of transparency and accountability.’

When large sums of aid money are provided by Western Governments, they have a responsibility to ensure that the money is being used for peaceful purposes.

NGO Monitor’s findings indicate that several groups receiving funds from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the World Health Organisation are linked to the PFLP.

Included among them are the Health Work Committees (HWC), Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC), Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC), and Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)”.