´Aussie nonprofit funding PFLP-linked Gazan group´ (JERUSALEM POST) By JOANNA PARASZCZUK 03/21/12)
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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
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
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
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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