The Ministry of Strategic Affairs report reveals over 100 different links between terror groups and organizations promoting Israel boycotts, including the employment of 30 current and “retired” terror operatives.
“Terrorist organizations and the BDS campaign have united in their goal of dismantling the Jewish State, with the former viewing boycotts as an additional tactic to their armed attacks against Israel.”
– Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan
Jerusalem, Israel — February 3, 2019— The Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy (MSA) released its “Terrorists in Suits” report today, revealing over 100 links shared between the internationally-designated terrorist organizations Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) with at least 13 anti-Israel BDS promoting NGOs.
The report reveals how Hamas and the PFLP are utilizing a network of NGOs promoting boycotts against Israel as an additional tactic in their ultimate goal of dismantling the State of Israel. These organizations have successfully placed over 30 of their members, 20 of which have served time, including for murder, in senior positions within BDS-promoting NGOs. The report documents how boycott organizations and terrorist designated organizations raise finances together, share the same personnel, and showcases that contrary to popular belief, these officials have not abandoned their support for terrorism, but instead, continue to maintain organizational, financial, and active ties with terrorist groups.
The Israel-boycott organizations in question were also shown to have received millions of euros in funding from European countries and philanthropic foundations, while gaining access to additional funds through financial, crowdfunding and banking systems.
Examples of terrorists working in support of organizations that promote the boycotting of Israel include Laila Khaled and Mustafa Awad. Khaled became infamous for hijacking two civilian airliners, Flights TWA 840 and El Al 219, and to this day remains active in the internationally-designated terrorist group the PFLP. She has fundraised for, and promoted, anti-Israel boycott NGOs both in Europe and South Africa. In 2011 she was found to have taken coordinated actions for a terrorist cell planning on attacking sites in Jerusalem. Furthermore, in October 2018 Khaled was quoted in an interview saying, “Palestine will be liberated through resistance in all its forms, first and foremost through armed struggle.”
Awad, is currently serving time for his involvement in several terrorist organizations, including serving as a member of the PFLP and received training from Iranian terrorist group Hezbollah. He also represented Samidoun in Brussels, an organization known for promoting boycotts against the State of Israel and advocating for the release of Palestinian security-prisoners in Israeli jails, including those convicted of murdering civilians in terrorist PFLP attacks.
Another instance includes the BDS National Committee (BNC), the Ramallah-based leadership of the global Boycott movement toward Israel, consists of 28 Palestinian boycott groups. The lead member of this coalition is the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces (PNIF), which includes five internationally-designated terrorist organizations including Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The American fundraising platform Donorbox recently suspended the BNC’s account after finding the group did indeed maintain ties to terrorist groups.
Over the past year, and following MSA activities to expose NGO terror ties, several European countries have announced the reexamination and decrease in funding granted to organizations which promote boycotts against the State of Israel.
The report also showed how operatives in terrorist-organizations operate under the guise of “boycott activists” to gain access, and meet with, senior Western government officials and exert pressure to release convicted terrorists held in Israeli prisons.
The report released today aims to decidedly remove the “mask” of NGOs promoting BDS by exposing in an in-depth study the true nature of this scheme. Minister Erdan, along with other senior Israeli government officials, has been, and will continue, to call on Western countries to cease providing for activities anti-Israel activities, including halting their funding of NGOs promoting Israel boycotts, especially ones with strong ties to designated terrorist groups.
Minister Erdan declared following the release of the report, “Terrorist organizations and the BDS campaign have united in their goal of dismantling the Jewish State, with the former viewing boycotts as a complementary tactic to their armed attacks against Israel. Following the exposure of the ties linking boycott organizations to the terrorist groups, I urge the governments of Europe to rethink the legitimacy and stop the funding they provide to Israel-boycott organizations.”
A Sample of Convicted Terrorists with Active Ties to Anti-Israel Boycott Organizations
A former senior PFLP activist who served several prison terms in Israel for his involvement in terrorism. Jabarin is currently the Director-General of the boycott-promoting organization Al-Haq and was found to have been involved in the terrorist group PFLP’s activities, including recruiting the terror-group’s members (including those who served time for terrorism charges) as employees of Al-Haq. The judge assigned to one of Jabarin’s cases defined him as, “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde… During part of the day he is the director of a human rights organization, and in others he is active in a terrorist organization that commits acts of murder.”
A senior member of the PFLP who served as the group’s representative in the Palestinian Legislative Council. Jarrar also served as the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors and General Assembly of the Israel-boycott organization Addameer. During her time working for the organization, Jarrar was put in administrative detention for a series of security-related charges including: membership in the terrorist group PFLP and inciting to kidnap members of the IDF (the campaign was headed by Ahmed Sadat, the organization’s Secretary-General).
After reviewing her case, the judge examining her case ruled that Jarrar was indeed a senior activist in the PFLP in Judea and Samaria, was involved in numerous terrorist activities and holds ties with numerous PFLP operatives throughout Judea and Samaria. He added that after an in-depth examination of the information provided during her trial, Jarrar continues to pose a significant security threat.
Rasmea and Yacoub Odeh
Both were members of the PFLP, and the two of them were involved in the murder of two Israeli students and the wounding of nine after carrying out a bombing in Jerusalem in 1969. They were sentenced to numerous life-term sentences and released in a prisoner exchange deal. Rasmea received honorary awards from two leading boycott organizations in the United States, Jewish Voice for Peace and National Students for Justice in Palestine (both are active on U.S. college campuses). Both organizations campaigned against Rasmea’s expulsion from the United States, due to the having lied about her ties to terror on her visa to US officials, were organized and carried out by said BDS organizations. Yaqub is a member of the committee and the general assembly of the boycott organization Addameer, while known as of recently to maintain ties to the designated terrorist organization PFLP.
Hamouri seems to still be a member of the terrorist group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Hamouri was arrested in 2005 for involvement in a terror cell of the PFLP which planned to assassinate the Israel’s Chief Sefardi Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and was later released in a prisoner exchange deal with Israel. Today Hamouri serves as a field researcher in the BDS-promoting organization Addameer.
A former senior Hamas military operative, Sawalha served with Hamas since its foundation the late 1980s in the Samaria region. A warrant was placed for his arrest by Israeli security services, after which he then fled to Jordan with forged documents before settling in the UK. Sawalha is associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, was a member of the Hamas political bureau during 2013-2017 and still meets with the organization as recently as January 2019.
In 1992, Sawalha met in the UK with a Hamas activist from the United States and gave him the names of operatives who could be recruited by Salah Al-Arouri, the Deputy Director of Hamas, who also served as a key figure in building Hamas’s ties with Iran and Hezbollah. Sawalha is part of, and even in some cases founded, civil society organizations in Britain including The Muslim Association of Britain, The International Committee for Breaking the Siege of Gaza and the Palestinian Forum in Britain, Sawalha promoted boycotts against Israel and was involved in organizing flotillas to Gaza, including the Mavi Marmara.
A Hamas activist which is believed to be still associated with the terrorist group to this day. Birawi heads the “Support Committee for the Boycott of Israel” which was established in 2017 as part of the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad. Birawi met with senior Hamas figures in Gaza, including Ismail Haniyeh, along with prominent boycott activists from Britain, including Hugh Lanning and Sarah Colborne, former Director of the Israel-boycott organization PSC. It’s important to note that Birawi and Sawalha (see above), both go about trying to portray themselves as unaffiliated with the terrorist group Hamas.
Sourani as of 2017 was a PFLP operative who held ties to Hamas and is the Founder and Director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR). PCHR is a signatory of the BDS Call from 2005 and release weekly reports which call for boycotts against the State of Israel. The organization cooperates with Palestinian and and European Israel boycott organizations, while receiving some $1.5 million of European funding during 2014-2017. Sourani, and the Director of the Legal Department, Iyad al-Alami, both contacted and maintained close ties with Hamas as of 2017, and both provided legal aid and advice to the terrorist group, including collecting data and writing legal documents to aid them in judicial proceedings brought against the State of Israel.