TEL AVIV – In a damning report released Sunday, Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry said that there are more than 100 links between terrorist organizations Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and NGOs promoting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, some of which are recipients of millions of euros in funding from European states and philanthropic funds.
The report entitled “Terrorists in Suits” also found that more than 30 terror operatives belonging to Hamas and the PFLP are in senior positions in those NGOs, with 20 of them having served time in prison for terrorism-related crimes, including murder.
According to a statement released by the ministry, the evidence reveals that “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.”
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said the research “reveals the true nature and goals of the BDS movement and its connection to terrorism and antisemitism.”
“Terrorist groups and the anti-Israel boycott campaign have united in their goal of wiping Israel off the map. Terrorist groups view boycotts as a complementary tactic to terror attacks,” he said.
“When people talk about the goals of the BDS movement, they don’t bother to read official statements from its leaders,” Erdan said. “If you do, it becomes clear that goals of its leaders are the same as the leaders of Palestinian terror organizations. BDS rejects Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State within any borders. They want to see Israel wiped off the map.”
The report gave examples of terror operatives working on behalf of NGOs, including Laila Khaled, a PFLP member who hijacked civilian planes in the 1960s and 1970s, and was involved in planning terrorist attacks in Jerusalem as recently as 2011. Khaled recently called for all forms of resistance, especially “armed struggle,” against Israel. She fundraises for BDS organizations in Europe and South Africa.
Mustafa Awad was another example given. Awad, who is currently in prison for his involvement in several terror organizations including PFLP and Hezbollah, has been the representative for Samidoun, a US-based NGO that promotes boycotts against Israel and advocates the release of Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails, including those convicted of murdering civilians.
Rani Sourani is a PFLP operative who doubles as the director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. PCHR calls to boycott Israel and between 2014 and 2017 received $1.5 million in funding from European states. The groups legal department provided counsel to Hamas in 2017.
Salah Hammouri, a convicted PFLP terrorist who in 2005 attempted to assassinate then-chief rabbi Ovadia Yosef, is a field researcher at Adameer, an organization promoting BDS.
“I urge all governments and financial institutions to investigate the activities of these BDS organizations, and immediately end all funding and support which they provide to them,” Erdan said.