By: Kate Anderson, Daily Caller News Foundation
The Biden administration is funding several Palestinian organizations despite their leaders’ support for and glorification of terrorism, according to a report released Monday by NGO Monitor, an Israeli research and watchdog group.
NGO Monitor released its 2022 report Monday calling out the U.S. government for failing to thoroughly vet Palestinian applicants to its foreign aid programs. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a U.S. federal agency that administers civilian foreign aid and development assistance, approved thousands of dollars in 2022 to fund several Palestinian organizations which have members or leaders with concerning views on terrorism, according to the report.
“NGO Monitor’s findings demonstrate that there remain blindspots in USAID vetting, allowing NGOs led by individuals who glorify violence to receive US taxpayer funds,” NGO Monitor’s communications director Itai Reuveni told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “USAID grantees should align with US goals and values.”
The Palestinian Charity for Youth Economic Empowerment (CYEE) was given $76,000 in 2022 by USAID for “60 emerging female leaders,” according to NGO Monitor’s report. For instance, CYEE Project Coordinator Haneen Al-Qawasm celebrated Ghassan Kanafani, a spokesperson for the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S. designated terrorist group since 1997, as a “revolutionary” and martyr in a Facebook post, according to the report.
CYEE Executive Director Sahar Othman has also cheered for Palestinian terrorists on her social media after several were killed in fights with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), according to the report.
Community Development and Continuing Education Institute (CDCE-I) received $78,000 from USAID for a project that “encourages youth participation and accountability in local governance.” The organization’s board members, however, have expressed sympathy and even glorified Palestinian terrorism against Israel on multiple occasions, according to the report.
Imad Al-Zeer, the chair of the organization’s board, was photographed at an event celebrating the PFLP, according to the report. CDCE-I’s deputy chairman Mike Salman has posted on his social media that terrorists who bomb and kill Israelis are “hero martyrs” and two other board members, Jiries Abu Ghannam and Rana Abu Farha, also have made similar posts, according to the report.
The report criticized USAID’s $41,000 grant to the Holy Land Trust (HLT), which performs tours of Israel and the West Bank, for its ties with terrorism. HLT’s Executive Director Elias D’eis was previously selected for a delegation for the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), an Israel-designated terrorist organization, that worked with news outlets.
HLT also promoted campaigns to free Khalida Jarrar, who was sentenced to two years in prison for her involvement with the PFLP.
USAID and HLT did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment. CYEE and CDCE-I were unable to be reached for comment.