Following reports on Monday that the Jerusalem District Court has disbanded the eastern Jerusalem-based association Lajnat al-Amal al-Zarai (the Committee of Agricultural Work) for transferring money from foreign governments and NGOs to finance terrorism, the Regavim movement called on the defense minister to declare the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), the group that received the funds, as a terrorist organization.
A few weeks ago, the Regavim movement revealed that the UAWC, known as “the Palestinian equivalent of the JNF,” and which is affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror organization, has announced it had embarked on an operation to take over thousands of acres in strategic areas in Judea and Samaria under Israeli control – through planting thousands of trees and offering agricultural training on the land as a means of acquiring it illegally.
According to a statement made by the UAWC, the takeover is intended to focus on a number of strategic areas: eastern Jerusalem, the Bedouin diaspora in the Ma’aleh Adumim area and in Area 1E, in the Gush Etzion area, between Jerusalem and Jericho, and between Jerusalem and Ramallah.
The operation was declared a Palestinian response to the Trump recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and is part of the UAWC Roots program – a comprehensive move by the Palestinian Authority to take control of tens of thousands of acres in Area C through agricultural processing.
The Oslo accords designate Area C as being under full IDF control.
“The court’s ruling is a welcome first step to stop terrorist funds being funneled through an Israeli non-profit organization, but we must also dry the swamp at the source,” Meir Deutsch, director of the policy department at Regavim, said in a statement.
“It is now clear beyond any doubt that the ‘Palestinian JNF’ is a terrorist organization for all intents and purposes, and we call on Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman to declare the Union of Agricultural Work Committees as a terrorist organization, and to act in any available way to stop its dangerous activity.”