Draped as ‘coronavirus aid’, UN funds Palestinian terror-linked groups

REPORT: NGO Monitor found that the UN & World Health Organization facilitated millions of dollars of emergency COVID-19 funding from Canada, the EU, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and the UK to Palestinian organizations with links to terrorism.



Millions of dollars of international funding for the Palestinians’ coronavirus emergency response, coordinated by the World Health Organization and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) have gone to organizations with links to terrorism, a new report by NGO Monitor found.

The research institution focused on the funding of non-governmental organizations found that several of the groups funded by OCHA and the WHO are tied to the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is recognized as a terrorist organization in Israel, the EU, US and Canada, and had staff members arrested and indicted late last year for the murder of 17-year-old Israeli Rina Schnerb.

Incitement to violence poster, PFLP call to Intifada – Hafez Omar

Among OCHA’s NGO partners with ties to the PFLP 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 Center for Human Rights (PCHR).

HWC’s Financial and Administration Director Waleed Hanatsheh bankrolled the PFLP that murdered Schnerb, and is currently standing trial for the murder, as is Samer Arbid, UAWC’s financial director. UHWC was identified by USAID as “the PFLP’s health organization.”

The NGO Monitor report also pointed out that OCHA stated that the aid money was meant to “respond to the public health needs and immediate humanitarian consequences of the pandemic in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip,” but many of the activities funded do not appear to be vital or lifesaving. Rather, anti-Israel advocacy ventures were relabeled COVID-19 without substantive contributions to humanitarian aid.

For example, the OCHA coronavirus response includes a “Joint Statement on Israel’s Obligations vis-a-vis West Bank and Gaza in Face of Coronavirus Pandemic” by 18 NGOs, calling for Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza to let medical supplies in. OCHA notes in the very situation report in which this statement is listed that Israel does allow medical supplies into Gaza.

Another example is Israeli NGO HaMoked receiving funding for an “urgent letter demanding Sheikh Sa’ed checkpoint is opened,” “two urgent letters of impacts of closure on Al Jib checkpoint,” among other similar actions. These letters by a HaMoked attorney to Israeli officials are part of the organization’s standard tasks. Several other organizations received funding for related letters and press releases.

One such letter was from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel to Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and his party “demanding that they fulfil their promise to protect democratic institutions and uphold the rule of law,” which seems to have little to do with the COVID-19 pandemic in the West Bank and Gaza, and more to do with internal Israeli politics.

Some of the countries that contributed to the COVID-19 emergency response plan were Canada, the EU, France, Germany, Ireland, Kuwait, Norway, Sweden, Spain and the UK, in addition to international organizations.

NGO Monitor President Prof. Gerald Steinberg said: “Our report provides a snapshot of what humanitarian aid actually looks like in crisis situations, and the accompanying shortcoming. It appears that key factors for OCHA are the goals of procuring of funds for NGO allies and ‘padding the stats,’ not providing critical humanitarian aid.”


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