The Danish Foreign Ministry on Friday announced the cessation of financial aid to Palestinian NGOs, along with more stringent vetting of these groups in the future, Israel’s foreign ministry said in a press release Sunday. The move came after Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan earlier this year notified Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen that European funds are going to PA NGOs that with ties to terrorist organizations.
The Danish Foreign Minister wrote an official response saying he attaches great importance to ensuring Danish aid is used properly. It is for this reason that the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in May began a comprehensive examination of the funds distributed to PA NGOs. The results of those findings led the Danish government to toughen the conditions and terms of funds given to PA organizations.
According to the announcement, most of the Danish aid frozen in recent months will be returned to the Danish government, and Minister Samuelsen made it clear that many organizations currently receiving Danish support will no longer continue to do so.
Denmark is a member of the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, a European government funding mechanism based in Ramallah which includes Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden. Among the organizations supported by the Secretariat are PA NGOs promoting de-legitimization of and boycotts against Israel, and have links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is considered a terrorist group by both the EU and the US.
These NGOs include Al-Haq and Addameer, several of whose senior administrators have close ties to the PFLP, including Al-Haq’s executive director Shawan Jabarin (who served time in Israeli prisons for his involvement with the terrorist group).
Minister Erdan said in a statement: “…I congratulate Foreign Minister Samuelsen for his just and resolute decision. I am glad that Denmark understood that the Danish taxpayer should not finance, directly or indirectly, Palestinian organizations which have direct connections to terrorist groups. I call on other countries in Europe to exercise the same moral responsibility and take similar steps.”