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Have France, Spain and Ireland agreed to fund Palestinian terror organizations?

By Maurice Hirsch, Adv.  |

In August 2019, Palestinian terrorists detonated a bomb at a water spring, murdering 17-year-old Rina Schnerb and seriously injuring her father and brother. The investigation of the attack led to the arrest of dozens of terrorists from the internationally designated terror organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Four of the six main terrorists arrested were not only members of the PFLP, but were also central figures in Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that were the recipients of substantial aid from the European Union.

While the EU denied the possibility that EU aid given to the NGOs in which the terrorists worked had actually funded the attack, the EU announced after the murder that it had added a new condition to its “General Conditions” form for NGOs requesting support. According to the new requirement, all NGOs must now commit to preventing EU money going from them to any potential beneficiary on the EU’s restrictive measures list – i.e. EU designated terror groups:

“1.5 bis. Grant beneficiaries and contractors must ensure that there is no detection of subcontractors, natural persons, including participants to workshops and/or trainings and recipients of financial support to third parties, in the lists of EU restrictive measures.”

[Website of the European Commission – https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/online-services/index.cfm?ADSSChck=1578925525617&do=publi.detPUB&searchtype=AS&zgeo=35466&ccnt=7573876&debpub=&orderby=upd&orderbyad=Desc&nbPubliList=50&page=1&aoref=167188]   

While the EU as a whole took steps to ensure that its aid to NGOs does not fund Palestinian terror, the Palestinian Coordination Committee of the National Campaign Against Conditional Funding has announced that Spain, France and Ireland have agreed to continue funding to Palestinian NGOs, even in the absence of any assurance that their aid is not funneled through the recipient Palestinian NGOs to terror organizations actively involved in murdering Israelis.

At a recent meeting, the Coordination Committee announced the success of a number of member organizations to receive unrestricted financing from France, Spain and Ireland:  

“In this context, many positive indications and achievements recorded by the campaign were noted. One of the most important of them was the success of a number of the organizations that are members of the campaign in negotiating with three funders (France, Spain, and Ireland) [parentheses in source] on the conditions that appear in their contracts, which were replaced with contracts that do not harm the Palestinian national right. In this way the campaign proved the civil society organizations’ ability to reject all the political conditions on the funding. It called to unite the Palestinian institutions’ efforts on the basis of refusing to make any concessions, and to begin dialogue with the funders in order to cancel the political conditions on the funding.

[Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, Nov. 12, 2020]

Since there is extensive documented proof linking numerous Palestinian NGOs to EU designated terror organizations, the new EU funding clause means that many Palestinian NGOs that previously received EU funding, can no longer continue receiving aid.

The Palestinian Authority and other Palestinian leaders rejected the elementary anti-terror funding clause, since they refuse to accept that internationally designated terror organizations such as the PFLP, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are indeed terror organizations. Rather, they refer to them merely as “Palestinian factions.” As Palestinian Media Watch recently exposed, among the Palestinian NGOs that have refused to accept the condition to prevent EU funding from being passed to designated terror groups is the Palestinian chapter of Defense of the Child International (DCI-P). While one might assume that protecting children inherently includes denouncing terror organizations, the fact that DCI-P refuses to agree to the new clause is probably evidence of the alleged ties the organization has to the PFLP.   

If true, the report that France, Spain and Ireland have agreed to waive the EU anti-terror financing clause as regards Palestinian NGOs, is exceptionally worrying. Have these three countries not found enough legitimate Palestinian NGOs that do not have ties to terror organizations? Or do they just not care that their aid contributions could actually be used by Palestinian NGOs to fund the murder of more Israeli kids?  

The following is a longer excerpt of the report claiming France, Spain, and Ireland disregard the EU principles and conditions for funding:

Headline: “The national campaign against conditional funding: The war against [conditional] funding is a long-term activity that requires continuing to reject political blackmail”
“The coordination committee of the national campaign against conditional funding held a meeting on Tuesday [Nov. 10, 2020], in order to discuss the prominent developments in the issue of conditional funding, strategies, and the campaign’s methods of action.
In this context, many positive indications and achievements recorded by the campaign were noted. One of the most important of them was the success of a number of the organizations that are members of the campaign in negotiating with three funders (France, Spain, and Ireland) [parentheses in source] on the conditions that appear in their contracts, which were replaced with contracts that do not harm the Palestinian national right (refers to contracts requiring Palestinian NGOs to denounce terror organizations in order to receive European funding –Ed.). In this way the campaign proved the civil society organizations’ ability to reject all the political conditions on the funding. It called to unite the Palestinian institutions’ efforts on the basis of refusing to make any concessions, and to begin dialogue with the funders in order to cancel the political conditions on the funding.
The campaign’s members discussed the importance of the continued activities and the meetings at the local and international levels, in order to direct attention to the dangers of the conditional political funding and its effects on the activity of the Palestinian civil society organizations. The future activities will focus on holding a number of meetings with the foreign embassies, representations, and institutions in order to explain the campaign’s position…
The campaign held the European Union (EU) responsible for the weakening and division of the Palestinian civil society. It emphasized that unity was and will remain the source of the civil society’s power…
The campaign will also turn to the EU member states and Palestine’s friends in order to take a position regarding these political conditions.”

[Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, Nov. 12, 2020]