Confidential documents show Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine operating a network of nonprofits to embezzle millions of dollars from the EU and NGOs.
By Adam Kredo and Matthew Foldi, Washington Free Beacon
When Israel designated six Palestinian charities as part of a terrorism network in October, critics slammed the move, pointing to the fact that Israel had not produced evidence to support the decision. But a confidential dossier produced in May and circulated within the top echelons of the Israeli government makes the case that the charities have been effectively hijacked by a radical terrorist group responsible for dozens of hijackings and murders.
The 74-page dossier, obtained and reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon, is marked confidential and for Israeli government use only. The Israeli government would not confirm its authenticity.
The dossier, which bears the logo of the Shin Bet, Israel’s national security agency, provides the firmest evidence to date that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S.- and E.U.-designated terrorist group responsible for several airplane hijackings throughout the 1960s and ’70s, among other atrocities, operates a network of nonprofit groups to embezzle millions of dollars in funding from the European Union and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
The dossier exposes an alleged network of PFLP members and associates with senior roles at the organizations, which claim to provide humanitarian services to the Palestinian people.
Israel maintains these organizations have forged official documents and misled donors about where their money is going, and the dossier details how funds were channeled to the PFLP to fund terror attacks, including a 2019 strike in the West Bank that killed one Israeli and prompted a government-wide crackdown on the PFLP. In one case, Israel provides evidence that the NGO Al-Haq, a human-rights group based in Ramallah, prohibits “anyone who is not a PFLP member … from working there.”
Anti-Israel activists in Europe and the United States, including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the George Soros-funded Open Society Institute, have poured money into these alleged terrorist fronts for years. Donations have also come from the governments of Denmark, France, Sweden, Italy, and Norway, as well as the international charity group UNICEF.
“The EU and European governments have provided more than $200 million to these groups during this time without conducting proper due diligence or adherence to counter-terror regulations,” Anne Herzberg, legal adviser for NGO Monitor, which tracks charitable donations, told the Free Beacon. “We hope these new designations will lead these governments to do the right thing and end this destructive funding.”
Israel did not release the dossier to the public because the country is locked in a court case centered on terrorism financing, according to one source who has been briefed by the Israeli government on the situation. The evidence Israel gathered about these Palestinian nonprofits is connected to the litigation, barring Israel from publicly releasing the information until the case has concluded.
The evidence provided in Israel’s dossier—which includes audio recording and interviews with key players in the Palestinian NGO world—corroborates years of research by independent watchdog groups into the PFLP’s money laundering schemes, which are used to channel funds from the European Union and Western donors into the terrorist group’s coffers. Israel shared the dossier with foreign governments, including the United States, as part of a bid to garner their support for the terror designations. The State Department said in November that Israel had provided it with “detailed information” about the terror designations and is reviewing the information.
While many of the aid groups are championed by the anti-Israel community and far-left in the United States as central to the fight for Palestinian civil rights, the dossier indicates the PFLP infiltrated these groups over the course of many years, turning them into fronts for a terrorism enterprise that seeks the Jewish state’s destruction. The October designation of these groups sparked a fierce debate in the NGO world and prompted pushback from pro-Palestinian activists who claim Israel is trying to defame organizations they view as critical to the fight for Palestinian rights.
The Israeli embassy did not respond to request for comment about the report or its authenticity. The Israeli prime minister’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
The six NGOs designated by Israel and discussed in the government dossier include: Al-Haq, a group that pushes economic boycotts against Israel; Addameer, a nonprofit that provides legal aid to Palestinian prisoners; Defense for Children International-Palestine, a branch of a Geneva-based group that focuses on “protecting the rights of Palestinian children”; and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, which promotes Palestinian women’s rights. All of these groups have long been accused by watchdog groups of having ties to the PFLP, though the Israeli government dossier provides the most definitive proof to date that they serve as fronts for the group.
One source who has spoken to Israeli government officials about the dossier and the PFLP’s funding channels said the PLFP targeted these Palestinian aid groups to be used as fronts for their laundering schemes. They have raised nearly $23 million in the past decade and have helped the PFLP consolidate power, the source said.
More than 70 PFLP members have served in senior roles at more than a dozen Palestinian nonprofit groups, according to NGO Monitor, an independent watching group whose findings are corroborated by the Israeli government report.
But prominent anti-Israel activists from across the globe have been unequivocal in their support of these six NGOs, signing onto an effort known as #StandWithThe6. This movement’s supporters include anti-Israel Weather Underground terrorist Bernardine Dohrn and anti-Semitic musician Roger Waters.
Since the dossier was produced, Israel raided the offices of several NGOs cited in the dossier in an attempt to secure further proof of their PFLP ties. And in November, Israel pointed to the conviction of Juana Rishmawi—a Spanish-Palestinian woman who worked for HWC and pled guilty to funding the PFLP—as proof that its designations were warranted.
The dossier also connects the alleged PFLP front groups to the pro-Palestinian community in the United States.
The group Defense of Children International-Palestine lobbied for a 2019 bill that called for U.S. military aid to Israel to be halted over what the legislation alleged are Israel’s human-rights crimes against the Palestinians. That bill, which was backed by anti-Israel Democrat Rep. Betty McCollum (D., Minn.) and other progressives in Congress, also included a provision calling on the United States to provide $19 million in funding to DCI-P and its fellow NGOs.
Israel says DCI-P employs PFLP associates.
DCI-P “works on behalf of the PFLP and most of its employees are PFLP operatives,” according to information in the dossier. “This association is part of the ‘Canaan’ project, which is managed by the institutions, on behalf of the PFLP.”
Citibank and other financial institutions in 2018 stopped processing donations to the group as a result of DCI-P’s ties to the PFLP.
Israel’s designation of DCI-P prompted McCollum and several other House Democrats to defend the group in late October. McCollum and fellow Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), and Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.)—some of the most vocal Israel critics in Congress—pushed a House resolution touting DCI-P’s “value and importance” and “courageous work.”
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