European Governments Funding NGOs Linked to Bloodthirsty Terror Group PFLP, Israeli Watchdog Says
European governments are funding Palestinian civic organizations with clear ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization, a leading Israeli research organization said on Monday.
A new report from the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor lists nearly a dozen organizations with PFLP affiliations that have nonetheless received funding from both the EU and European national governments. The PFLP has been designated as a terrorist organization by the US, the EU, Canada and Israel. All of the NGOs in the PFLP network are enthusiastic advocates of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel.
The organizations include the Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC), whose co-founder, Dr. Rabah Muhanna, is a member of the political bureau of the PFLP and the leader of its Gaza branch. The UHWC received over 350,000 Euros from the European Commission between 2014 and 2016, in addition to undisclosed amounts from European regional governments and humanitarian foundations.
The European Union is also a major funder of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR,) whose founder, Raji Sourani, was convicted in 1979 of membership in the PFLP. In 2012, Sourani was denied an entry visa into the United States. Despite these connections, the EU donated over 400,000 Euros to the PCHR in the two years prior to 2016, while the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) provided the group with a further $577,000.
As well as European governments and the United Nations, the NGO Monitor report identifies a number of well-known funds, including the Open Society Foundations of liberal billionaire George Soros, that have provided support to PFLP-linked NGOs in the Palestinian territories.
“The clear affiliation between these NGOs and the PFLP requires immediate attention and concrete measures on the part of European funders, ensuring that funds do not go to groups affiliated with the PFLP or other terrorist entities,” NGO Monitor concluded in its recommendations. “All ongoing funding should be frozen until funders undertake independent reviews of the processes that allowed funding for these NGOs.”
The report also urged Israeli officials to “take up the issue of the PFLP-NGO network with their European colleagues.”
Formed in 1967 by the physician George Habash, the PFLP emerged as a left-wing nationalist rival to the dominant Fatah group within the PLO. As a 2005 Council on Foreign Relations briefing pointed out, the PFLP “is best known for pioneering the technique of international airplane hijackings in the late 1960s and 1970s—with consequences that rattled the Middle East.” Among its atrocities was the murder of over two dozen passengers at Lod Airport near Tel Aviv in 1972, and the 1976 hijacking of an Air France plane originating in Tel Aviv that was then steered to Entebbe airport in Uganda, following an invitation from the notorious dictator Idi Amin. Israeli commandos famously stormed Entebbe airport and rescued the hostages captured by the PFLP hijackers and their allies from Germany’s Red Army Faction.
More recently, the PFLP claimed responsibility for the November 2014 massacre at the Kehilat Bnai Torah synagogue in Jerusalem, during which four Jewish worshipers and a Druze policeman were murdered in an attack that involved axes, knives and a gun.