The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is partnering with organizations that have ties to the terrorist group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan warned in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
OCHA’s Humanitarian Response Plan for 2022 includes a partnership with the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), one of six Palestinian NGOs Israel designated as terror organizations, because of their work as a money-laundering front for the PFLP.
“It is outrageous that an organization with a mission to ensure international peace and security would partner with organizations that directly and materially support terrorists and provide the PFLP – a designated terrorist organization worldwide, including in Israel, the US, the EU, Australia, Canada and Japan – with its financial lifeline,” Erdan wrote.
The partnerships “fly in the face of the relevant UN counterterrorism resolutions,” the ambassador added, quoting UN Security Council Resolution 2462 of 2019, which warned against the “abuse of nonprofit organizations [and] donations” by terrorists and calls on member states to prevent the financing of terrorism, as well as the 2021 UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which did the same.
Erdan called on Guterres to ensure that OCHA does not work with NGOs that are part of the PFLP’s financial network.
“While, as you know, Israel strongly supports humanitarian efforts and is a leader in this field, we must not allow well-intentioned humanitarian work to be tainted and poisoned by the very terrorist groups that destabilize our region and make such humanitarian efforts necessary in the first place,” Erdan wrote.
The ties between UAWC and the PFLP have been documented for years by Israeli groups like NGO Monitor and the now-defunct Strategic Affairs Ministry, and after the Defense Ministry and Justice Ministry banned it and five other NGOs, provided videos of the organizations’ leaders participating in PFLP events, among other evidence.
However, the terrorist designation was criticized by some Western states, including the US State Department, which claimed at the time that not enough evidence was provided to back it up.
Also Monday, Erdan continued a tour of Israel with UN ambassadors from 12 countries – South Korea, Argentina, Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Uruguay, Ecuador, Hungary, Nauru, Palau, Samoa and Zambia.
The ambassadors met with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and President Isaac Herzog.
Bennett thanked them and called for them to express their countries’ friendship with Israel through their actions at the UN. He discussed Israel’s regional challenges, including the Iranian threat.
The group visited Israel’s northern border last week, and saw a tunnel Hezbollah dug into Israel.