Netherlands suspends aid to group that employed suspected Palestinian terrorists
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Netherlands suspends aid to group that employed suspected Palestinian terrorists

Minister says Ramallah-based Union of Agricultural Work Committees paid salaries to members of PFLP terror group accused of murdering Israeli teenager

Netherlands' Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag delivers a speech during the Netherlands Economic Mission to Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)
Netherlands' Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag delivers a speech during the Netherlands Economic Mission to Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands — The Dutch government said Monday that it had suspended its contributions to a Palestinian organization 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 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 organization and had worked for the Union of Agricultural Work Committees alongside their alleged involvement with that terror group.

They are accused of carrying out a bombing at a West Bank spring that killed teenager Rina Shnerb, and injured her father and brother.

Rina Shnerb, 17, who was killed in a terror attack in the West Bank on August 23, 2019 (courtesy)

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 organizations involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Masked Palestinian gunmen of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in Gaza City during a rally on September 2, 2014, to celebrate the Egypt-mediated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. (photo credit: AFP/Mahmud Hams)

According to the research, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees has received about $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.

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