Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Shurat Hadin: World Vision & Aus Aids Illegal Funding Of PFLP
(Sydney, 20 March 2012) An Israeli civil rights group, Shurat HaDin—Israel
Law Center, has revealed conclusive evidence supporting its allegations that
World Vision Australia & AusAID are funding an arm of a proscribed terrorist
organisation in Gaza in breach of Australian & US law.
On 15 February 2012, Shurat HaDin sent letters to World Vision Australia and
AusAID warning that providing financial aid and other forms of material
support to the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (“UAWC”) was illegal
because it was an arm of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
(“PFLP”), a proscribed terror group. Shurat HaDin warned that the PFLP was
the controlling hand of the UAWC and that PFLP members form the executive of
the UAWC. Initially, the organisations suspended aid to the UAWC.
However, on 2 March 2012, without having received Shurat HaDin's evidence
and based solely on an irrelevant search of registers of not-for-profit
organisations, World Vision publicly announced that it had conducted an
“extensive investigation”, that Shurat HaDin's allegations were “unfounded”
and resumed funding the UAWC. In a separate letter, AusAID similarly made
the same false claims of having conducted a “detailed investigation”.
Today, Shurat HaDin director, attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner and
Australian solicitor Andrew Hamilton reveal their dossier of evidence
conclusively implicating the UAWC as an arm of the PFLP. This evidence
• The President of the UAWC Board of Directors, Bashir al Kheiri is a
well known and senior member of the PFLP, head of the PFLP Political Office
in Ramallah, with a long record of arrests & gaol time in Israel for
terrorist involvement and still actively representing the PFLP as recently
as January 2012.
• The Vice President of the UAWC Board of Directors, Jamil Muhammad
Ismail al-Majdalawi (aka Jamil Ismail), is also a well known and senior
member of the PFLP, head of the PFLP political office in Gaza and represents
the PFLP on the PLO central committee.
• Three other UAWC directors (Razeq al Barghouthi, Ramallah, Treasurer;
Taghreed Jom’a, Gaza Member; and Faysal Khalafallah, Gaza Member) are also
members of the PFLP. Taghreed Jom'a is a member of the PFLP's Gaza
• The US government aid agency, US AID identified the UAWC as the
agricultural arm of the PFLP in a detailed report back in 1993, noting that
it was established by the PFLP in 1986. US AID does not fund the UAWC.
• The UAWC directly makes its assets available for PFLP use. In
• The PFLP celebrated it's 42nd anniversary at the UAWC's hall in Khan
Younis, Gaza in December 2009.
• Senior PFLP personnel are actively and publicly involved in UAWC
activity on an ongoing basis. In particular:
• PFLP spokesman Ali Jaradat spoke at the official UAWC conference in
Ramallah in 2011 and another conference organised by the UAWC in November
• The PFLP actively supported the UAWC's political protest outside UN
Headquarters in Gaza City in 2011 with PFLP central committee member Abu
Rahma speaking at the protest.
• The Deputy Secretary General of the PLFP, Mr Abdel Rahim Malouh, was an
important guest at the UAWC's “Immortal Land Day” political protest on 1
• The PFLP's Arabic language website includes detailed reports of the
UAWC's work, the most recent of which is dated 2 February 2012 while the
UAWC's English site contains reports only until 2009. It is telling that the
PFLP website has much more up to date information on the UAWC's work than
the UAWC's own website.
Shurat HaDin notes that almost all this information is publicly available on
the internet, mostly in English, and is available to anyone conducting a
simple google search in good faith, let alone the “extensive” & “detailed”
investigations that World Vision & AusAID claim to have conducted.
Shurat HaDin also notes that it is clear from basic internet searches that
the UAWC is not merely an agricultural organisation but is extensively
involved in political activity advancing the PFLP agenda. It should not have
been eligible for Australian government aid in the first place.
The PFLP is a proscribed terrorist organisation listed by the Australian
Government under the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945 (“the Act”). It
is a strict liability offence, under section 21 of the Act for an individual
or corporation to directly or indirectly make an asset available to a
proscribed person or entity.
By providing financial aid to the UAWC, which: was established by the PFLP;
is controlled by senior PFLP operatives; makes its assets available to the
PFLP and acts in coordination with and to advance the interests of the PFLP
(including active involvement in PFLP political activity), World Vision &
AusAID are directly or indirectly making assets available to a proscribed
World Vision has admitted to providing at least $US711,000 to the UAWC (out
of A$5 million budget) in the last 18 months alone and appears to have been
funding the UAWC for substantially longer. The penalties for breach of
section 21 of the Act include up to 10 years imprisonment for individuals
and fines of up to 3 times the amount of the transaction for individuals and
corporations. Shurat HaDin calculates that fines in this case could amount
to well over A$15 million if the current $5 million budget allocation to the
UAWC is not the first.
Shurat HaDin Solicitor Andrew Hamilton said, "Not only have World Vision &
AusAID likely broken the law and exposed themselves and their staff to
millions in fines and potential gaol terms, but they have added insult to
injury by grossly misusing Australian taxpayers' money and then misleading
the Australian people by conducting an extremely superficial investigation
while publicly claiming it was extensive and the allegations unfounded.”
According to attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner: "It is unbelievable that
World Vision and AusAid were unaware that the leadership of the UAWC were
senior officials of the terrorist Popular Front. Australian taxpayers will
be stunned to learn that their money is being given to a terrorist
organisation dedicated to Israel's destruction and the murder of innocent
Shurat HaDin calls upon the Australian Federal Police to open an
investigation into this potentially criminal conduct of World Vision &
AusAID. Shurat HaDin will provide its detailed dossier of evidence to the
Australian Federal Police on request and offers to assist in the collection
of further evidence in Israel to enable the successful prosecution of the
organisations and individuals involved.
Shurat HaDin—Israel Law Center (http://israellawcenter.org/) is an
international human rights law organisation dedicated to enforcing basic
human rights through the legal system and representing victims of terrorism
in courtrooms around the world.
For more information:
Andrew Hamilton: email@example.com (Sydney) Tel: 02 8002 1283 (after
5pm Sydney time) or Israel mobile +972 54 536 3529
In Israel: Tel.: +972 – 3-7514175, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.
Posted by Sally Zahav at 11:29 PM