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Woman pleads guilty to embezzling funds from West Bank charity for terror group

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Israeli security forces arrest suspected PFLP members as part of a broad crackdown on the terror group in the West Bank, in an undated photograph released on December 17, 2019. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli security forces arrest suspected PFLP members as part of a broad crackdown on the terror group in the West Bank, in an undated photograph released on December 17, 2019. (Israel Defense Forces)

A Spanish-Palestinian woman pleads guilty to embezzling funds from a West Bank charity on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group, which Israel recently accused of using six other non-governmental organizations as fronts for its terrorist activities, the military says.

Israeli politicians hail the conviction, believing it justifies a deeply contentious decision by the Defense Ministry and the military to outlaw the six groups, prompting harsh international opposition.

Under the deal, Juani Rishmawi admitted to working in the service of a proscribed organization — the PFLP — and illegally bringing money into the West Bank in exchange for a reduced sentence, which will be issued next week.

“According to the facts that she admitted, for years the accused worked to raise money, amounting to millions of shekels, from countries in Europe, for the Health Work Committee, which worked on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine,” the military says.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, the money was embezzled using forged documents and by defrauding funders, and it was used “to fund the activities of the Popular Front.”

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