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July 21, 2020 3:54 pm

Dutch Government Suspends Funding of Terror-Linked Palestinian NGO

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

The scene of a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Dolev, Aug. 23, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.

The Dutch government has frozen funding of a Palestinian NGO with links to a terrorist group that murdered an Israeli teenager last year.

The move came in response to a campaign by UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) that called attention to the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), which had received Dutch funds totaling some $23 million.

Geoffrey van Leeuwen, director of the Dutch Foreign Ministry’s Middle East and North Africa Division, said in a letter to UKLFI, “Given the seriousness of the situation, the Minister has decided to conduct an external review of the matter. Further payments by the Netherlands to UAWC are currently suspended pending the outcome of this review.”

The UKLFI had petitioned the Dutch government last year after it was revealed that two UAWC employees were involved in the 2019 bombing at a West Bank spring that killed 17-year-old Israeli Rina Shnerb and wounded her father and brother.

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The two employees were Abdul Razaq Farraj, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), who was a UAWC employee for 30 years and by 2018 was finance and administrative director of the organization.

The second was Samer Mina Salim Arbid, who was financial director of the UAWC from 2015 to 2016.

The two men’s salaries were partly paid by the Dutch government and in 2017 they received passes from the Dutch Representative Office in Ramallah, whereby they could identify themselves as “employees of a partner organization of the Dutch representation.”

Caroline Turner — director of UKLFI — commented, “We are pleased that the Netherlands has suspended payments to the UAWC and is now conducting a review of the matter.”

“This is a very important step, and other major donors to the UAWC including the EU should take note,” she added. “It is outrageous that the Dutch and other donors should fund an organization if it has such close links to a terrorist group whose aim is the destruction of the State of Israel.”

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