Netherlands cuts funding to Palestinian group blacklisted by Israel

The Dutch authorities will cease funding one of many Palestinian civil society teams not too long ago blacklisted by Israel for its alleged ties to a Palestinian terrorist group. 

The Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) was considered one of six Palestinian organizations the Israeli authorities formally labeled a “terrorist group” over alleged hyperlinks to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a leftist militant group designated a terrorist group by Israel, the United States and the European Union. The blacklistings drew widespread condemnation and prompted a uncommon rebuke from the Biden administration, which stated it was looking for extra info on the idea of the designations. 

The choice to chop funding, which was introduced in a joint letter by two Dutch ministers, follows the federal government’s yearlong impartial evaluate of the Ramallah-based UAWC, which concluded the Palestinian group has no “organizational ties” to the Popular Front.

The Israeli Defense Ministry accused the six civil society teams of appearing as a canopy for the Popular Front and transferring their international grant cash to the group. The Dutch evaluate discovered no proof that the group had funneled cash to the Popular Front however decided there was some overlap in membership. 

“The great number of UAWC board members with roles in both organizations gives particular cause for concern,” the Dutch ministers wrote of their letter. “It is reasonable to assume that the UAWC was aware of these individual ties.”

In a press release, the UAWC stated it was “shocked and saddened” that its major donor was ending funding and would think about “legal steps” to problem the Dutch choice. 

“With this fateful decision, the Dutch government is not just abandoning UAWC but Palestinian civil society at large,” the group stated in a press release. “By doing so, the Netherlands tarnishes its reputation as a reliable donor and its status of a value-based country that hosts and promotes international law.”

The Netherlands beforehand suspended its funding of the UAWC in July 2020 after two of the group’s employees members have been arrested over a West Bank bombing that killed an Israeli teenager in August 2019. 

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