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Legal Rights Group Releases Full Report on Oxfam Ties to Terror Group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

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March 26, 2014

Oxfam International is tied to banned terror group PFLP, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, because of its support of two front organizations, according to the Jerusalem-based legal rights group Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center.

In its full report published on Wednesday, Shurat HaDin, directed by lawyer Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, mapped out the connections between UK-based Oxfam and the two charities, the Gaza-based UAWC, Union of Agricultural Workers Committees, and the UHWC, Union of Health Workers Committees.

The groups’ events honor fallen PFLP “martyrs” and their paid staff include well-known PFLP military leaders, Shurat HaDin said.

Darshan-Leitner announced last month that she was preparing to document the connections, but Oxfam, via a statement to Israeli media, said the allegations were reviewed by an Australian authority in 2012 and were unfounded; Darshan-Leitner said the Australians confused the groups because of their initials.

“We take any such allegations seriously,” Oxfam said in its statement. “However, these same allegations by the Israel Law Center against UAWC were previously investigated thoroughly by the Australian government’s Federal Police and Security Intelligence Organization, and were found to be completely unsubstantiated.”

The Australian investigation in 2012 found that the UAWC was listed in Israel as a humanitarian group, but according to Darshan-Leitner, that organization was different from the UAWC that partners with Oxfam, JNS reported.

In the full brief of the case published on Wednesday, Shurat HaDin spelled out the connections between the front groups and the terror arm and shows how the law puts the Onus on Oxfam to know where its funds end up.

From the report: “A Shurat HaDin investigation indicates that even as Oxfam was attacking Scarlett Johansson and Israel for violating international law, the organization was itself violating both international law and the laws of many sovereign nations. Specifically, Oxfam’s involvement with two Palestinian NGOs — the Union of Health Workers Committees (UHWC) and the Union of Agricultural Workers Committees (UAWC) — violates numerous laws against giving material and financial aid to terrorist organizations.”

“Both the UHWC and the UAWC are well-known for their close connections to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), one of the oldest and most violent Palestinian terrorist organizations in the world,” Shurat HaDin said. “The PFLP is guilty of numerous suicide bombings, airplane hijackings, and assassinations; including some of the most notorious international terror attacks of the 1970s.”

“Our investigation has revealed that the UHWC and UAWC are not merely close to the PFLP but branches of the PFLP, founded, staffed, and operated by this designated terrorist group. It is a crime under international law, as well as US, UK, Israeli, and EU law, to provide material and financial support to terrorist groups, including ostensibly benign subsidiary organizations and branches of terrorist groups. It is our conclusion that Oxfam is currently in direct violation of these laws, and is liable for both criminal and civil penalties as a result.”

“International law makes no distinction between the military wing of a terrorist group and its various front organizations. Funds earmarked for ostensibly benign organizations run by terrorist groups, which often provide social services like education and medical care, can be easily diverted to terror activities, and they often share personnel with their parent organizations.”

“For both political and propaganda reasons, many terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas have operated social service branches since their inception. The PFLP has done the same for decades.”

“Oxfam has strong connections to two of these organizations: The Union of Health Workers Committees (UHWC), which provides medical services; and the Union of Agricultural Workers Committees (UAWC), which deals with land ownership and agricultural issues. The UHWC and the UAWC deny any connections to the PFLP. In the past, however, both have acknowledged that they were founded as part of the PFLP and share personnel with the terrorist group.”

“There is, we believe, conclusive evidence that they remain branches of their parent organization, despite attempts to conceal these ties,” the group said.

Shurat-HaDin described some of the PFLP’s recent crimes, notably from the Shabak (Israeli security services) investigation into the murder of five members of the Fogel family in Itamar, Israel, on March 11, 2011.

“What has come to be known as the Itamar massacre was so brutal—one of the dead was a three-month-old baby—that it was condemned worldwide, including by the Palestinian Authority,” Shurat HaDin said. “The Shabak has since concluded that the murders were not solely committed by the two Palestinians found guilty of the attack. They had, in fact, been planned and organized by members of the PFLP. According to the Shabak report, Hakim Ma’azan Niaz Awaad, who committed the murder with his cousin Amjad, was a PFLP member, as were his father and uncle. Another member was asked to provide weapons for the attack, while yet another hid the killers in his home and helped conceal evidence of the murders. Although the PFLP has not claimed responsibility, many Arab-language media outlets have attributed the attack to the organization.”

“In short, the PFLP is one of the oldest and most active Palestinian terrorist organizations. It is guilty of numerous atrocities and continues its activities to this day. It has been designated as a terrorist organization by the US, the EU, the UK, Israel, and many other countries, which have banned the group’s activities in their respective territories.”

“There is conclusive evidence that both branches of the UHWC operate as branches of the PFLP. Even a cursory Internet search reveals that the website of the Palestinian Shahid Organization — a group that provides assistance to relatives of suicide bombers and other ‘martyrs’ — lists 12 Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip that are subordinate to the PFLP, including the UHWC.”

“Most telling is the role played in the UHWC by Dr. Ahmad Maslamani, who served as both head of the PFLP in the West Bank and director of the UHWC in the same area. Upon his death, Maslamani was referred to in the official Palestinian press as both ‘a national warrior in the service of the Popular Front’ and the ‘founding father’ of the UHWC — ‘national warrior’ being a barely-disguised euphemism for ‘terrorist.’”

“PFLP memorial services for former spokesman Ghassan Knafani in 2010 were held at a center owned by the UHWC, at which homage was paid to the memory of dead Palestinian terrorists. A similar event was held at the UHWC Medical Center in Jaballah, during which the PFLP thanked the UHWC for its help in organizing the event.”

“In short, the UHWC is identified with the PFLP by the Palestinian media. Its ‘founding father’ was one of the PFLP’s most important terrorist leaders. The organization has been and is still a partner to the PFLP’s political activities. The UHWC is, in short, a front organization for the PFLP.”

“Numerous websites refer to it as an instrumentality of the PFLP, its leadership is largely composed of senior PFLP operatives, it makes its assets available to the PFLP, and it appears to act in coordination with the PFLP in regard to political activities.”

“An extraordinary number of UAWC leaders have been and still are PFLP members, some of them quite prominent. One of the most important is Bashir al Kheiri (a.k.a. Bashir Khairy), who has served as President of the UAWC Board of Directors since at least 2005. He signed the organization’s President’s Message from 2005-2009 and was reported as still being a director in 2010. He is also a well known and senior member of the PFLP, having served as head of the PFLP Political Bureau in Ramallah. He has a long record of arrests and jail time in Israel for terrorist involvement and was still actively representing the PFLP as recently as January 2012. Kheiri also appears to hold a violently extremist position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On at least one occasion, he has called for the conquest of cities within Israel proper, a position close to that of Hamas and rejected by the Palestinian Authority itself.”

“Three other UAWC directors listed in the 2009 Annual Report have also been identified as members of the PFLP: Razeq al-Barghouthi, the UAWC Treasurer based in Ramallah; as well as Taghreed Jom’a and Faysal Khalafallah in Gaza. In particular, Khalafallah, who died in 2011, has been described as a ‘tenacious fighter’ and ‘one of the members of the Special Unit of the device’s military front, and undergoing a number of cycles of military and security selection.’ He was, in other words, a terrorist.”

Shurat HaDin said the PFLP is listed as a banned terrorist group by the EU, under Council Common Position 2001/931/CSFP and Council Decision 2012/333/CFSP, as a designated terrorist entity in the United Kingdom, Oxfam’s country of origin, where the United Kingdom’s Terrorist Asset Freezing Act of 2010, sections 12-15, apply, and is officially designated under U.S. law as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization,” pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.), as amended by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-132).

“Therefore, providing funds and assistance to the UHWC and the UAWC, as subsidiaries of the terrorist organization PFLP, is illegal under international and sovereign law,” Shurat HaDin said. “Since such aid inures to the benefit and interests of the PFLP, it clearly constitutes the type of seemingly innocuous material support described by the US Supreme Court.”

“This makes Oxfam’s involvement with these groups illegal, and renders the organization liable to criminal and civil penalties under EU, UK, Israeli, US, and international law — as well as the law of many other countries. This includes liability for past, present, and future terrorist attacks carried out by the PFLP. Oxfam is also liable for civil and monetary damages to Israeli, European, American, and other citizens victimized by PFLP terrorism.”

“This being the case, Oxfam should immediately cease its aid to branches of the PFLP or be prepared to face the penalties for continuing to do so,” Shurat HaDin said.

In a statement to The Algemeiner, Shurat HaDin said that it is still considering “possible legal action” against Oxfam, which has yet to respond to the content of the allegations.