Spanish government demanding “better conditions” for Spanish citizen suspected of funneling funds to a Palestinian terror group.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
A Spanish woman working for an NGO in Bethlehem is suspected of funneling money to a Palestinian terror group, but the Spanish government wants her prison conditions improved, Ynet reported Tuesday.
Juana Ruiz Sanchez has been married to a Palestinian for 35 years and was apparently living in Bethlehem, where she works for an anti-Israel organization. She was arrested two weeks ago under suspicion that she was helping transfer funds to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the terrorist group that claimed responsibility for several dozen rockets fired at Israeli towns from Gaza over the weekend.
“We are in an intensive dialogue with Israeli authorities,” said Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya, adding that Spain is demanding better conditions such as food, hygiene and personal care, and “asked for full guarantees for Ruiz in this investigation phase.”
The Spanish authorities acknowledged that Sanchez was allowed to meet with Spanish consular officials and that Jerusalem and Madrid were in contact on the issue.
According to the Israeli watchdog group NGO Monitor, the PFLP is designated by numerous countries, including the EU and the United States, as a terrorist organization, but has “substantial ties to at least eight European-funded Palestinian NGOs.”
NGO Monitor researchers discovered that PFLP members serve as staff, on the boards and in key decision making and financial roles at the those NGOs, although the exact organization that Sanchez works for has not be revealed publicly by Israeli authorities as the investigation against her continues.
Founded in the 1960s, the PFLP is a secular, Marxist-Leninist terror group that was originally supported by the Soviet Union and China. Since its inception, the terror group has been involved in suicide bombings, shootings and assassinations, among other attacks targeting civilians.
The terror group was well-known for hijacking commercial airlines in the 1960s and 1970s, involving thousands of civilians in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and is responsible for countless deaths and injuries.
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