A Palestinian flag is waved at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City.
(photo credit: MUAMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)
The Swiss Foreign Ministry announced that it suspended funds and support for the Ramallah-based Palestinian NGO Human Rights International Humanitarian Law Secretariat because the organization failed to cut ties to terrorism, according to a Sunday report in the Swiss newspaper Sonntags Zeitung.
“This is an important first step in NGO funding accountability by the Swiss Foreign Ministry, and reflects the recent legislation on this issue,” Prof.
Gerald Steinberg, the president of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, told The Jerusalem Post
“In halting payment to WATC [Women Affairs Technical Committee], the Swiss follow similar moves by Denmark and Holland. The radical Palestinian NGO is one of many funded by these countries through the Ramallah-based Human Rights Secretariat, with an annual budget of $4 million,” he added.
He asserted that “a number of the recipients are affiliated with the PFLP terror organization.
Having now frozen WATC funding, the question is whether the Swiss federal government will seriously reexamine participation in the very problematic secretariat mechanism, and in other frameworks that misuse tax money under the facade of human rights and peace.”
The Human Rights International Humanitarian Law Secretariat provides funds to the WATC, which named a youth center after a Palestinian terrorist.
Critics of the secretariat say it glorifies Palestinian terrorism.
The Palestinian NGO also receives funds from Denmark
, the Netherlands and Sweden.
The Swiss Foreign Ministry said its internal investigation showed that it did not directly funnel money to the WATC project. The payment of $36,000 for the Palestinian NGO was suspended and a definitive decision about a continued payment will be issued.
A date for the decision was not cited in the Swiss media reports. Switzerland, which has hosted Hamas officials over the years, is not a member of the EU and has declined to outlaw Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorist entities.
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