International aid worth millions of dollars provided to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) for coronavirus emergency response in Palestine has been transferred to Islamic terrorist organisations, reported The Jerusalem Post.
As per the report, a research institution named NGO Monitor has found that several organisations funded by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and OCHA are linked to the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The group is recognised as a terror outfit by several countries such as the EU, the US, and Canada. Several countries including Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Kuwait, Norway, Sweden, Spain, and the UK, are part of the Palestine emergency response plan.
United Nations accused of funding Terror Outfits
Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC), Health Work Committees (HWC), Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC), Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), and Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) are some of the NGOs, with links to PFLP, which are funded by the OCHA.
Reportedly, several members of the PFLP were arrested in 2019 for the gruesome killing of Rina Schnerb (17). For instance, Waleed Hanatsheh who is now standing trial for the murder of Schnerb was HWC’s Financial and Administration Director while another man Samer Arbid who served as UAWC’s financial director has also been indicted.
Is Humanitarian aid a cover-up?
According to the NGO Monitor, several activities of the OCHA do not align with their mission to respond to the humanitarian crisis caused due to the Coronavirus outbreak in West Bank and the Gaza Strip. OCHA, in its situation report, noted that Israel has allowed media supplies in Gaza.
However, along with 18 NGOs, the UN body has made a ‘joint statement’, as a part of its Coronavirus response in Palestine, urging Israel to lift the blockade in Gaza to provide medical supplies. The report noted that the United Nations had resorted to ‘anti-Israel advocacy’ instead of contributing to the humanitarian crisis.
Reportedly, several organisations received funding from the UN body for letters and press releases. For example, Israeli NGO HaMoked wrote letters demanding the opening of Sheikh Sa’ed checkpoint and closure of Al Jib checkpoint. Another letter was written by the Association for Civil Rights to Benny Gatz, the leader of Blue and White party, demanding protection of ‘democratic institutions.’ While it had nothing to do with Coronavirus pandemic, it had something to do with Israel’s internal politics.
According to Gerald Steinberg, the President of the NGO Monitor, the OCHA is motivated to procure funding to the contentious NGOs, ‘padding the statistics’ and not providing relief. He added, “Our report provides a snapshot of what humanitarian aid actually looks like in crisis situations and the accompanying shortcoming.”
Extremists exploiting lockdown, say United Nations
Earlier, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had warned that radical groups were exploiting the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic and intensifying their efforts on social media to recruit youth online. He said that extremists are trying to capitalise on the ‘anger and despair’ unleashed by the economic crisis caused by the virus to increase their strength.