The E.U.’s decision to continue funding to Palestinian “civil society” organizations with terror links sets a “dangerous precedent,” says Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan.
By Ariel Kahana, Israel Hayom via JNS
Money donated by European governments and private individuals is making its way into the coffers of terrorist organizations, according to a new report by Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry.
The ministry issued the report after the European Union announced it would be funding Palestinian “civil society organizations” even if they include members who support terrorism. According to the report’s findings, Palestinian activists have established a way of securing European monetary donations that allow them to carry out terrorist activity in addition to civil society work.
“The links to civil society entities in the West allow them a way of securing financial assistance that they could not receive any other way,” the report states.
In the past two years, Israel’s Shin Bet security agency has exposed a number of incidents in which Hamas took control of money belonging to aid organizations active in the Gaza Strip, and in some cases used them for military purposes against Israel.
One notable example was a case of European donations that went to fund terrorists involved in the murder of Rina Schnerb in the summer of 2019. Samar Arbid, head of the cell that killed Schnerb, 17, and wounded her brother in an attack at a spring near the town of Dolev in Samaria, played a key role in an organization named Addameer, a “prisoner support and human rights organization” according to its website.
Other members of the same cell earned a living from European government donations to “civil society groups.”
Last Thursday, Israel reprimanded Emmanuel Joffre, the head of an E.U. delegation to Israel, for the announcement that such funding would continue.
Rina Schnerb’s father, Eitan, is now joining the calls to block E.U. funding from reaching terrorists. In a public appeal to the Europeans, Schnerb wrote, “I was amazed to discover that Arbid was a member of the ‘human rights group’ Addameer. How can it be that people who sanctify death are active in human rights groups? How can it be that for years, they have been receiving millions of euros in aid from European nations?
“I have no doubt that European countries do not support terrorism and the murder of innocent people. However, they certainly understand that the links between Palestinian civil groups and terrorist organizations is a reality that must be condemned. I urge you: Do not turn a blind eye. Do not allow yourselves to be duped. Do not lend a hand, a platform, or funding to these organizations.”
Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, who Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday will be Israel’s ambassador to the United States and United Nations, said, “The E.U. has given in to the Palestinian steamroller of pressure. Millions of euros that went to Addameer show the real threat posed by the E.U. decision. This is a dangerous precedent.”
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.