World Vision Australia, part of a very large evangelical organization that provides relief aid worldwide, has reportedly announced it is freezing aid to a Gaza-based group, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC).
The announcement follows legal action by Israeli civil rights group, Shurat HaDin—Israel Law Center, which warned that the UAWC is an agency of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group.
Shurat Hadin sent legal letters warning World Vision and another Australian charity, AusAID, that material support to the UAWC is illegal and will expose the two groups to criminal prosecution under Australian and United States law as well as civil liability to victims of PFLP-sponsored terrorism.
According to Israel's Reshet Bet government-financed radio, World Vision announced over the weekend that it is launching an investigation into Shurat HaDin's claims, and that until the query ends, it will freeze all activity vis-à-vis the Gaza organization. Reshet Bet added that a spokesman for World Vision insisted the aid had been intended for 8,000 poor people in Gaza.
World Vision is one of the largest relief and development organizations in the world with reported total revenue of $2.6 billion.
Shurat Hadin stated, “The PLFP’s funding is shared and distributed among its family of institutions, including the UAWC. The PLFP is the controlling hand of the UAWC and PLFP members form the executive of the organization.” According to Shurat HaDin, the law is strict when it comes to aiding and abetting terrorism. U.S. courts have determined that any assistance or support to terrorists, including seemingly benign forms of assistance such as agricultural aid, is criminal.
In 2010, it was reported that World Vision funded the construction of a Palestinian Authority (PA) youth center named in memory of a top terrorist – the Shahid (Martyr) Abu Jihad Youth Center. Abu Jihad, or Khalil al-Wazir, was a founder of the PA's Fatah faction and coordinated its terror activity, including the worst single terror attack in Israel's history – the Coastal Road Massacre.