Netherlands admits to paying terrorists who killed 17-year-old Israeli

The killers of Rina Shnerb are members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a designated terrorist group in the EU.

Rina Shnerb, 17, was killed by an improvised explosive device in the West Bank, August 23 2019  (photo credit: Courtesy)
Rina Shnerb, 17, was killed by an improvised explosive device in the West Bank, August 23 2019
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Dutch civil servants took a picture with one of the terrorists charged with killing 17-year-old Rina Schnerb, The Jerusalem Post has learned, despite their government’s denial of any known connection between organizations they fund and terrorist groups.
The photograph from 2017, which can be found on the Netherlands Representative Office in Ramallah’s Facebook page, features Dutch officials, including Head of Cooperation in Ramallah Henny de Vries, and leaders of the Palestinian-run organization Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), to which the Dutch representative in Ramallah pledged nearly $20 million in 2013-2021.
Among the UAWC officials in the photo – though not named in the Facebook post – is Abdul Razeq Farraj, the NGO’s Finance and Administration director and who was indicted in October 2019 on four counts, including aiding an attempt to cause death in the terrorist attack on the Shnerb family that year and holding a position in a terrorist organization. According to the indictment, Farraj recruited for the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and knew about attacks carried out by the cell, as well as details of its weapons and explosives.
Palestinain terrorists killed Shnerb on August 23, 2019, in a bombing attack at a spring near Dolev, injuring her father Rabbi Eitan Shnerb as well as her brother Dvir.
The commander of the PFLP terror cell that prepared and detonated the bomb was Samer Arbid, an accountant for UAWC at the time of his 2019 arrest.
Also in the photo is Ubai Aboudi, UAWC’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officer until April 2019, who was sentence to a year in prison in June 2020. Farraj’s indictment refers to Aboudi as a PFLP member working with Farraj in recruitment.
The Facebook post says the photo was taken after the Netherlands Representative Office and UAWC signed a $11,250,000 agreement to continue a land and water resource management project over the subsequent four years.
NGO Monitor, the research institute that found the connection between the Dutch government and the PFLP terrorists said the photograph "highlights what [they have] long warned about direct ties between senior UAWC individuals and PFLP and how dangerous it is to entrust such organizations with distributing humanitarian aid."
On Tuesday, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok and Development Minister Sigrid Kaag admitted to parliament that the Netherlands paid part of the salaries of terrorists involved in killing Shnerb last year.
In immediate response, the Netherlands suspended its donations to UAWC indefinitely, pending an investigation.
“Because careful action is so important in this regard, I have decided to commission external research into any ties between the PFLP and UAWC,” the ministers wrote. “The Cabinet… wants to independently determine whether and how continuation of the contributions is appropriate.”
The salaries were paid in part by Dutch funds covering UAWC overhead costs, though they were not directly involved in the program sponsored by the Netherlands.
They also received accreditation, identifying themselves as “employees of a partner organization of the Dutch representation,” in Ramallah, a letter from the ministers said.
The ministers’ remarks came in response to a parliamentary question from three right-wing parties.
Kaag claimed that she was not previously aware of UAWC’s ties to terrorist groups. This despite that both the Dutch-Israel advocacy organization Center for Information and Documentation on Israel and the organization UK Lawyers for Israel reached out to the government and lawmakers in The Hague in 2019 to highlight those connections, based on research by the Israeli think tank NGO Monitor.
NGO Monitor said: "We sent letters to Dutch ministers of foreign affairs and development in late 2019 and in June this year, specifically about UAWC. The decision to freeze the funding and open an investigation is extremely important and shows accountability, but we hope it will also set a precedent and serve as an example for others like the EU, Germany, France and Italy who all have supported or still support UAWC."