CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman, Rt. Hon. Sir Eric Pickles MP, called on DfID to exercise “far stricter oversight of aid given to Palestinian organisations”, following the revelation that a director of the charity World Vision allegedly diverted up to $50 million to Hamas, in an article published in the Jewish News and Times of Israel today.
Sir Eric said: “The revelation that the director of an internationally respected and funded NGO has been brazenly siphoning international aid money to the terror activities of Hamas is chilling”.
He continued: “The misappropriation and abuse of international aid is the latest demonstration of Hamas’s contempt of its own people. Instead of building schools and hospitals, Hamas continues to build terror tunnels and rearms in preparation for another attack on Israel”.
Regarding UK aid provided to World Vision, Sir Eric wrote: “Worryingly, the UK – via the Department for International Development – reportedly gave £2 million to groups in Gaza in 2014, including World Vision, when they matched charitable contributions pound for pound made by well-meaning Brits to a Disaster Emergency Committee appeal. The Department has conceded that it cannot guarantee that British taxpayers money has not been given to Hamas”.
He underlined: “This tragic story is symptomatic of the wider abuse of aid money. CFI has campaigned to raise awareness of these issues for years, from the PA’s payment of salaries to convicted terrorists to NGOs that celebrate terrorism. DfID money goes to some important projects in the Palestinian Territories. However, not all projects are created equal”.
Sir Eric cited the example of Ibda’a Cultural Center, who received £5,602 from the UK in the last financial year, but continue to glorify violence committed against Israelis on its official Facebook page.
Calling on the DfID to reassess the its current aid policy to the Palestinian Territories, Sir Eric said: “Faced with such gross abuses, we appeal to new Secretary of State, Priti Patel, to ensure that DfID exercises far stricter oversight of aid given to Palestinian organisations, to ensure it reaches projects that work for peace rather than hate. It is encouraging that Priti is showing an eagerness to tackle these issues”.
He concluded: “It is high time DfID reconsiders it’s current aid policy to the Palestinian Territories to ensure the UK supports peaceful coexistence projects, such as the extraordinary Save A Child’s Heart. As it stands, a mere 0.2% of the £72 million that the UK gives per annum is allocated to such projects. Priti has already pledged to look into this fantastic organisation and others. Both the British taxpayer and Palestinian residents have been badly let down”.
Click here to read Sir Eric’s full article in the Jewish News.