After investigation, Denmark to cut funding from some Palestinian NGOs
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After investigation, Denmark to cut funding from some Palestinian NGOs

Israel presented Copenhagen with evidence that it was financing groups with ties to terror or actively promoting boycotts of Israel

Anders Samuelsen, second from right, Denmark's Minister for Foreign Affairs , meets with representatives of Israeli high tech industry in Jerusalem (Courtesy: Yossi Zwecker)
Anders Samuelsen, second from right, Denmark's Minister for Foreign Affairs , meets with representatives of Israeli high tech industry in Jerusalem (Courtesy: Yossi Zwecker)

Denmark is to revoke funding from several Palestinian non-governmental organizations and tighten aid criteria for others after they were tied to anti-Israel activities.

Israel hailed the move as a victory and urged other European governments to follow suit.

The Danish Foreign Ministry made the announcement Friday, saying it would implement a more stringent vetting process for the transfer of funds to Palestinian NGOs.

“It is important that there is confidence that Danish assistance is going for the right purposes,” said Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen.

Samuelsen said that, following an investigation, most of the earmarked funds will be returned to Danish government coffers. He added that many organizations currently receiving Danish support would no longer do so.

“This is a welcome, moral, and crucially-important decision. Palestinian NGOs that have ties to internationally-designated terrorist organizations and that promote boycotts against Israel should not receive European governmental funding,” said Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan attends a committee meeting at the Knesset, November 14, 2017. (Flash90)

“I call on all other European governments to exercise the same moral responsibility and take similar steps,” he said.

The move came after Denmark launched a review of its practices in May following a meeting where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Samuelsen to stop Denmark’s funding for Palestinian NGOs that are involved in anti-Israel incitement or promote boycotts of the Jewish state.

Netanyahu gave Samuelsen a list of organizations which receive Danish funds that Israel says are linked to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign against Israel.

It also followed the United Nations announcing it had withdrawn support for a Palestinian Authority women’s center named for a notorious terrorist, saying the move was “offensive” and glorified terrorism.

The West Bank center was named after Dalal Mughrabi, who took part in the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre. Mughrabi and several other Fatah terrorists landed on a beach near Tel Aviv, hijacked a bus on Israel’s Coastal Road, and killed 38 civilians, 13 of them children, and wounded over 70.

Palestinians inaugurate a square to commemorate Dalal Mughrabi, a Palestinian terrorist who killed dozens of Israeli civilians in a 1978 bus hijacking in Israel, seen in portrait, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on March 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
Palestinians inaugurate a square to commemorate Dalal Mughrabi, a Palestinian terrorist who killed dozens of Israeli civilians in a 1978 bus hijacking in Israel, seen in portrait, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on March 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

“The glorification of terrorism, or the perpetrators of heinous terrorist acts, is unacceptable under any circumstances,” the UN statement said. “The UN has repeatedly called for an end to incitement to violence and hatred as they present one of the obstacles to peace.”

The UN move came days after Norway’s foreign minister condemned the PA for naming the center after Mughrabi, demanding the country’s name be removed from the building and that the funds it donated for its construction be returned.

The prime minister said Israel had made a point of pressing nations and organizations over this issue and would continue to do so.

In April, Netanyahu canceled on short notice a meeting with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, over the latter’s refusal to call off a meeting with Breaking the Silence — which Netanyahu has denounced as a group trying to get Israeli soldiers tried for war crimes.

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