Middle East Monitor / January 11, 2022
The Palestinian Authority (PA) yesterday told a Dutch diplomat that it was shocked and dismayed by the country’s decision to stop funding a Palestinian NGO.
According to a statement, the Undersecretary of the PA’s Foreign Ministry Amal Jadou summoned the head of Netherlands Representative Office to Palestine Kees van Baar and conveyed an official letter of protest over his country’s decision to end funding the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC).
Jadou expressed the PA’s shock and dismay as a result of the decision, which will have direct adverse consequences on the lives of tens of thousands of vulnerable families making a living from agriculture.
The UAWC is one of the six Palestinian NGOs that Israel labelled as “terrorist groups” in October 2021. It provides aid to Palestinians who farm their land.
It helps tens of thousands of farmers in Area C – the more than 60 per cent of the occupied West Bank under direct Israeli military and administrative control, and where most illegal Israeli settlements and infrastructure are located.
Jadou reminded the Dutch diplomat that outcomes of the external investigation launched by the Dutch Ministry for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation found no evidence that UAWC has any organizational links with any outlawed groups.
Jadou added that the Dutch government’s decision pulling fund from UAWC “fall in line with Israeli systematic and malicious campaign of incitement” against the NGO, in particular, and the Palestinian civil society, in general.
The PA diplomat urged the Netherlands to immediately reverse this unjust decision, which sets a dangerous precedent with regard to undermining the work of Palestinian NGOs, which play key role in reinforcing the resilience of Palestinians.