The German federal government is giving millions of euros each year to Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) without bothering to check that these groups have close ties with a Palestinian group that is on the European Union list of terror organizations, the Israeli watchdog NGO Monitor reported.
The German taxpayer money is being funneled through Germany’s Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Foreign Office (MFA-AA), and the United Nations, but the paperwork that is supposed to be keeping track of where that funding is going is missing.
“A severe lack of transparency curtails the ability to independently and fully verify and evaluate the country’s funding to the region,” NGO Monitor said in a detailed report on the issue.
“The German government has been allocating funds for projects involving at least eight Palestinian NGOs with reported ties to the EU-designated terror group the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP),” NGO Monitor’s researchers discovered.
NGO Monitor found out that senior employees of at least three PFLP-linked NGOs funded by Germany, including employees responsible for financial matters, were arrested by Israel and are currently on trial for their involvement in an August 2019 bombing attack in which 17-year-old Rina Shnerb was murdered and her father and brother were injured.
Another group that gets German funding regularly hosts events organized by the terror organization with heavily armed PFLP members in attendance. Dozens of employees of numerous NGOs have ties to the PFLP, and for last year Germany provided some $25 million to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), which gives that grant money to a number of terror-linked NGOs.
The watchdog also found that at least three PFLP-linked NGOs that get German money are leading the lobbying effort to get the International Criminal Court (ICC) to indict Israel for war crimes, while the German government itself officially opposes an ICC probe of Israel, saying that “the court has no jurisdiction because of the absence of the element of Palestinian statehood required by international law.”
Germany has given millions to three groups with ties to the PFLP – the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), Al Mezan, and Al-Haq – each of which submitted various documents to the Court alleging Israeli war crimes.
In March 2020, these NGOs submitted a brief to the ICC saying they “welcome and support the findings of the Prosecutor that there is a reasonable basis to believe that international crimes have been committed in the occupied Palestinian territory, comprising the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.”
The organizations stressed that they will continue their “tireless” cooperation with the ICC, having submitted “six substantial communications and thousands of eyewitness files to the Office of the Prosecutor…”
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is the second-largest terror group in the Palestine Liberation Organization after Fatah. The PFLP has a long history of terrorist attacks including airplane hijackings, bombings, shootings and stabbings that have killed not just Israelis, but international victims as well.
The PFLP is violently opposed to the idea of peace with Israel and rejects the Oslo Accords and the two-state peace plan.