The International Criminal Court building at The Hague
The International Criminal Court building at The HagueReuters

According to new research made available by NGO Monitor, several Palestinian organizations portraying themselves as independent promoters of human rights are being openly funded by European states, some of which categorize their support as “legal aid” in the full knowledge that this legal aid is being used to fund lawsuits against Israel in the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague.

A report in Wednesday’s edition of Yisrael Hayom singles out Switzerland, Sweden, The Netherlands, Denmark, and Ireland for their support of Palestinian organizations, prominent among which is one that titles itself “The Palestinian Center for Human Rights” (PCHR). According to NGO Monitor, PCHR was funded by Switzerland to the amount of $700,000 between 2018 and 2020, money that went directly to fund lawsuits opened at The Hague. PCHR’s contract with the Swiss government contained the stipulation that the organization would be required to “communicate with the General Prosecutor's Office of the Tribunal ... send documents, communicate with the Tribunal, and submit cases in international forums.”

Other European countries have also been supporting PCHR and other Palestinian NGOs, including one that openly states that its goal is to “flood the occupation with hundreds and thousands of lawsuits that will incriminate and convict it.”

Another example of a “human rights” organization being supported by European funds is Al Mezan, which describes itself as a “non-governmental human rights organization based in the Gaza Strip … that envisions a free and sovereign Palestinian society…” Based on reports in Arabic media as well as statements from Hamas and the PFLP, it appears that a number of senior officials in Al Mezan have direct affiliations with these terrorist groups. Al Mezan has also petitioned the ICC, using funding provided by The Netherlands.

NGO Monitor stresses that in many other cases, Palestinian organizations receive European funding for “legal activities” without even being required to detail their expenses or specify that their goal is to submit lawsuits at The Hague. The net result of the funding, in several documented cases, has been the facilitation of a series of meetings between members of these organizations with the chief ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, and her representatives.

Commenting on this ongoing phenomenon, Anne Herzberg, NGO Monitor’s legal adviser, stated: “The countries that donate to these organizations must take responsibility for the consequences of their actions, which are, effectively, to impede Israel’s ability to protect her citizens from Palestinian terror.”