Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra who is on an official visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, on Wednesday met in Ramallah with representatives of Al-Haq, an anti-Israel NGO that was declared last October as a terrorist group by Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Israel Declares 6 NGOs as Terror Groups — US, EU, UN Not Happy).
In addition to Al-Haq, Gantz banned the groups Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC); ADDAMEER – Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association; Bisan Center for Research and Development; Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P); and Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC).
According to Reshet Bet radio, the Dutch minister visited Ramallah after he met with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in Jerusalem. During his visit to the PA, Hoekstra met with senior PA officials as well as several anti-Israel groups such as B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence, and one terrorist-designated group – Al-Haq.
According to NGO Monitor, Al-Haq’s General-Director Shawan Jabarin has been linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) which has been designated as a terrorist organization by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel.
Al-Haq is a leader in anti-Israel “lawfare” and BDS campaigns. Between 2014 and 2017, the group received a core funding grant of $1,301,700 from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (IHL Secretariat) which includes the government of the Netherlands.
Wopke Hoekstra is the leader of Holland’s Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and serves as the second Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands and Minister of Foreign Affairs in Mark Rutte’s cabinet. His meeting with the anti-Israel groups was held in the official Dutch consulate in Ramallah.
PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh urged the Netherlands to pressure Israel to allow PA elections to be held in Jerusalem, never mind that no one expects PA presidential elections any time soon (Mahmoud Abbas has been the single ruler since 2005. The Prime Minister also called on the Netherlands to “pressure Israel to release the bodies of the martyrs it withholds, release the withheld tax funds and stop all unjust financial deductions from Palestinian funds.”
Those tax funds that are collected by Israel on behalf of the PA are being withheld to offset the salaries the PA pays out to terrorist prisoners in Israeli security prisons and their families. Also, the entire withholding business is a sham, since Israel is covering for the missing funds with long-term loans to Ramallah.
Shtayyeh expressed his appreciation for “the Netherlands’ support for Palestine, based on the principle of partnership and friendship, and its support for the two-state solution.”