The Dutch government said it is suspending its contributions to a Palestinian organisation that had used the subsidies to pay salaries to suspected terrorists.
The office of Sigrid Kaag, the Netherlands’ minister for foreign trade and development cooperation, told parliament on Monday that the Ramallah-based Union of Agricultural Work Committees used the money to pay two men in Israeli custody who are standing trial for the murder of a 17-year-old girl in a 2019 terror attack.
Samer Arbid and Abdul Razeq Farraj are alleged to be members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror organisation and had worked for the Union of Agricultural Work Committees alongside their alleged involvement with that terror group.
Kaag announced the suspension of funding while answering a parliamentary query by the Freedom Party, the Christian Union and the Reformed Political Party. The information about the two suspects came from research by the Israel-based NGO Monitor group, which examines the activity of nongovernmental organisations involved in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
According to the research, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees has received about £18.2m ($23 million) in subsidies from the Dutch government since 2010.
That funding was suspended indefinitely on July 9 pending an investigation of “possible ties” between the Union of Agricultural Work Committees and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a spokesperson for Kaag wrote in a reply to the query from Monday.