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´Aussie nonprofit funding PFLP-linked Gazan group´ (JERUSALEM POST) By JOANNA PARASZCZUK 03/21/12)Source: http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=262581 JERUSALEM POST JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Attorneys at the civil rights group the Israel Law Center (Shurat HaDin) announced on Monday that they have "conclusive evidence" to show that a Gaza-based organization supported by two Australian groups is linked to the terror group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

The Law Center said World Vision Australia (WVA), a Christian child- advocacy group, and Australian government agency AusAID are breaking Australian and US laws by funding the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), which has offices in Gaza City in the Hamas- controlled Gaza Strip.

Attorney and Israel Law Center director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner and Australian solicitor Andrew Hamilton said they have compiled a dossier of evidence that implicates the UAWC as an arm of the PFLP, including proof that several members of the UAWC´s board of directors have close PFLP ties.

The announcement came after World Vision Australia said earlier this month that it has resumed its funding to UAWC, following a legal warning from the Israel Law Center in February.

The Israel Law Center sent legal warnings to both World Vision Australia and AusAID, after the UAWC listed both groups as its supporters. The letters warned that by supporting UAWC, World Vision Australia was "aiding and abetting Palestinian terrorism, and thereby violating Australian and United States anti-terrorism laws."

Initially, both groups announced they had suspended their funding to the UAWC, but weeks later said they had resumed their financial support after carrying out an investigation.

A World Vision Australia spokeswoman told The Jerusalem Post earlier this month that its investigation found that the Israel Law Center´s claims were "unfounded."

"There is no impediment to WVA resuming its partnership with UAWC. UAWC is a non-profit company that is registered with the Israeli Justice Ministry," the spokeswoman said, adding that World Vision Australia´s support for the AMENCA project helps over 7,000 children in Gaza.

However, Darshan-Leitner said Monday that the Israel Law Center found it "unbelievable" that World Vision Australia 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 organization dedicated to Israel´s destruction and the murder of innocent Jews," she added.

The Israel Law Center said that UAWC board president Bashir al-Khairi is a well-known and senior member of the PFLP, and heads the terror group´s political office in Ramallah. According to the Law Center, Khairi was still actively representing the PFLP as recently as January.

A lawyer by profession, Khairi has been arrested several times for involvement with the PFLP, and has served time in prison.

The UAWC board vice-president, Jamil Muhammad Ismail al-Majdalawi, known as Jamil Ismail, is also a well-known PFLP member, the Israel Law Center said, and heads the PFLP political office in Gaza as well as representing the terror group on the PLO´s central committee.

The Israel Law Center also pointed to three other UAWC directors ≠ Ramallah-based Razeq al-Barghouti, and Gazans Taghreed Jom´a and Faysal Khalafallah ≠ whom it says are also members of the PFLP.

The UAWC also makes its own assets directly available for the PFLP to use, the Israel Law Center said, noting that the PFLP celebrated its 42nd anniversary at the UAWC´s hall in Khan Yunis in 2009.

PFLP deputy secretary-general Abdel Rahim Malouh was a VIP guest at the UAWC´s June 1, 2010, political protest, dubbed ´Immortal Land Day,´ the Israel Law Center noted.

The Israel Law Center noted apparent connections between the PFLP and the UAWC that the Post also revealed in its own search of the PLFP´s Arabic language website, which includes detailed reports on the UAWC´s work, the most recent of which is dated February 2nd.

At an official UAWC conference in Ramallah last year, PFLP spokesman Ali Jaradat joined representatives from Fatah, and other Palestinian groups in saying that "Palestinian land [is] under fierce attack from the Israeli occupation," Maan News´s Arabic-language site reported.

The PLFP also vocally supported a UAWC protest outside the UN headquarters

in Gaza City last year in response to the UN´s Palmer Report into the blockade of Gaza, with PFLP central committee member Imad Abu Rahma dubbing the blockade an "international crime," according the PFLP´s own Arabic-language Facebook page.

The Israel Law Center have warned that by funding the UAWC, World Vision Australia and AusAID could be liable for lawsuits, because of the group´s PFLP links.

The PFLP is a proscribed terrorist organization listed by the Australian government under the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945, according to which it is a strict liability offense for an individual or corporation to directly or indirectly make an asset available to a proscribed person or entity.

The Israel Law Center said World Vision and AusAID may have violated that law, and called on the Australian Federal police to open an investigation into the matter.

Sydney-based Israel Law Center solicitor Andrew Hamilton said on Monday that World Vision Australia and AusAID had exposed themselves and their staff to "millions in fines and potential jail terms."

"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," Hamilton added. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 03/21/12)


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