March 14, 2016 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1234

Incitement To Terrorism By Palestinian Civil Society Organizations That Receive Foreign Funding

March 14, 2016 | By B. Shanee*
Palestinians | Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1234


Some Palestinian civil society organizations operating in the West Bank that receive funding from Western countries, institutions, and foundations are openly expressing support for terrorism. They express this support with ceremonies exalting terrorists, with public displays of support for attacks and their perpetrators, by lionizing terrorists, and by posting inciting content on social media.

The following are several examples of such organizations:

The Palestinian Bar Association Awards Honorary Attorney's Certificate To Muhammad Al-Halabi, Who Killed Two In Jerusalem; Encourages Participation In Stabbers' Funerals

The Palestinian Bar Association is the official body for Palestinian attorneys in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.[1] It receives regular funding from the EU, and has received aid from the EU Police Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support (EUPOL COPPS), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and UN Women.[2] It also maintains cooperation ties with the International Legal Foundation (ILF).[3]

On October 10, 2015, the bar association announced that it would be posthumously awarding an honorary attorney's certificate to Muhannad Al-Halabi, who was killed after stabbing two people to death in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 3, 2015 and wounding a woman and a two-year-old baby.

The association's announcement said: "In its meeting today [October 10, 2015], the Palestinian Bar Association decided to award an honorary attorney's certificate to the martyred hero Muhannad Al-Halabi, and also decided that the next swearing-in ceremony [for new attorneys] will be named for him."

The announcement said further that, after taking these decisions, the members of the bar association's council had paid a condolence call to the family of Al-Halabi, "who had been an outstanding student in the Faculty of Law," to inform them of the decisions.[4]

Additionally, on November 1, 2015, the bar association announced that all legal institutions in the Ramallah and Al-Bireh areas would be closed the following day to allow bar members to participate in the funerals of "the hero martyrs" 'Omar Al-Faqih - killed after he attempted to carry out a stabbing attack at the Qalandia checkpoint on October 17, 2015 - and Muhammad Shamasneh - killed after he carried out a stabbing attack on a bus on October 12, 2015.[5]

The announcement about Muhannad Al-Halabi on the website of the Palestinian Bar Association

The Popular Art Centre Organizes Ceremony For "Jerusalem Martyrs"

The Popular Art Centre is a community center for the arts in Ramallah.[6] It receives aid from the EU via the AM Qattan Foundation, as part of the former's project to support the performing arts.[7] It is also supported by the Taawon association, which in turn is funded by foreign bodies such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the EU, UNESCO, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the Canadian embassy in Lebanon, and more.[8]

On February 6, 2016, the Popular Art Centre held a fundraiser in solidarity with the families of Jerusalem "martyrs" whose homes had been demolished, in which "songs of the Palestinian Revolution" were performed.[9] The Popular Art Centre raised $25,000, which it transferred to a fund for rebuilding the demolished homes.[10] One of the speakers at the fundraiser was Muhammad 'Alian, father of Bahaa 'Alian who, along with Bilal Abu Ghamen, perpetrated the October 13, 2015 shooting and stabbing attack on a bus in the Armon HaNatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem, in which three people were killed and seven were wounded. Bahaa's father congratulated the martyrs of each Palestinian city: "the martyrs of Hebron, capital of the 'Honor and Strength Intifada'; the martyrs of Jerusalem, the intifada's initiator and bride; the martyrs of Ramallah, the most beautiful of cities and the leader of the intifadas, and the martyrs of Nablus, Tulkarm, Jenin and the [refugee] camps of steadfastness and defiance..." He concluded: "We, the families of the martyrs, demand of [both] the official and the popular echelons to inculcate the culture of the martyrs and to organize culture activities dealing with the martyrs' legacy, their stories, and their lives, [activities dealing with] each and every martyr - for each of them has a story worthy of study, examination and attention."[11]  

Muhammad 'Alian speaking at the fundraiser

On the eve of the fundraiser, the center posted a poem on its Facebook page calling for not "laying down the rifles" - a motto that was repeated in a video posted on the center's Facebook page of a song performed at the fundraiser.[12]

The video posted by the Popular Art Center: "From the Ramallah Cultural Palace we said no - no to laying down the rifles"

Poster announcing the Arts Center's fundraiser features images of martyrs and a map of Palestine from the river to the sea (, February 6, 2016)

Shabab Al-Balad Youth Forum Posts Prayer For The Souls Of The Martyrs

Shabab Al-Balad is a youth forum aimed at encouraging culture and education; it operates in the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood in East Jerusalem and is part of the Hemmeh organization's volunteer network.[13] Hemmeh receives funding from Taawon (which in turn is funded by foreign bodies, as specified above), as well as from the Burj Al-Luqluq association, which operates in the Old City of Jerusalem and is funded by foreign bodies such as the UNDP, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UNESCO, the EU, the French embassy in Jerusalem, the French Agency for Development (AFD), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the British Consulate in Jerusalem, the World Bank, the Pontifical Mission, and others.[14]

Shabab Al-Balad's Facebook page features a statement dated October 4, 2015 titled "Allah, accept them as martyrs" with photos of Muhannad Al-Halabi, who stabbed two people to death and wounded a woman and a baby in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 3, 2015, and Fadi 'Aloun, who carried out a stabbing attack in Jerusalem on October 4, 2015.[15]

Shabab Al-Balad's Facebook post: "Allah, accept them as martyrs"

It should be noted that Bahaa 'Alian, one of the perpetrators of the October 13, 2015 shooting and stabbing attack on the bus in the Armon HaNatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem, in which three people were killed and seven were wounded, had been active in this group.[16]

The Handala Cultural Center Lays Wreath On Grave Of Stabber, Holds Mock Funeral For Tel Aviv Terrorist

Named for the well-known character created by Palestinian cartoonist Naji Al-'Ali to symbolize Palestinian identity and resistance, the Handala Cultural Center operates out of Al-Saffa village in the West Bank.[17] A September 2015 festival organized by the center was supported by the Palestinian Culture Ministry, which is in turn supported by foreign bodies such as the EU, UNESCO, the UNDP, the MDG Achievement Fund - which is implemented through UN agencies and supported by the Spanish government - and others.[18]

On January 17, 2016, the center posted a video of a mock funeral for Nashat Melhem, an Israeli Arab who killed three people in Tel Aviv on January 1, 2016. The center's Scouts troop participated in the mock funeral.[19]

The Scouts troop of the Handala Cultural Center marches at mock funeral for Nashat Melhem

On January 30, 2016, the center's Facebook page featured photos of wreaths that the center had placed on the grave of Ibrahim 'Alan, killed after participating in a January 25, 2016 stabbing attack at a grocery store in Beit Horon, in which a woman was killed and another was wounded. The photos were accompanied by the caption "The martyrs do not die - their blood illuminates like a revolution."[20]

Al-Nahda Rural Society Posts Obituaries For Terrorists

The Al-Nahda Rural Society[21] operates in northwest Jerusalem. The society has hosted activities funded by the EU and British Consulate,[22] and participated in a project funded by the Japanese government to support small infrastructures in the Al-Quds governorate.[23] The society has also hosted an OCHA delegation.[24] It hosts activities funded by the Palestinian Agriculture Ministry,[25] which itself is funded by the EU and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).[26]

The Al-Nahda Rural Society is also supported by the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), which belongs to the World Council of Churches.[27] A recent activity for harvesting olives that the society organized was conducted in cooperation with EAPPI  and with the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED) - a French humanitarian NGO which is itself funded by the EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Commission, FAO, the French Foreign Ministry, the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), OCHA, SIDA, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the U.S. State Department, the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF), the UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNFPA, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UNRWA, the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, and the American Red Cross.[28]

On February 15, 2016, the society posted an obituary for the terrorists Mansour Al-Shawamra and 'Omar 'Amro, killed while attempting to carry out a shooting attack at the Old City of Jerusalem's Damascus Gate on February 14, 2016.[29] On October 16, 2015, the society posted an obituary for Muhammad Shamasneh, killed October 12, 2015 while carrying out a stabbing attack on a bus in Jerusalem.[30]

The obituary for Al-Shawamra and Amro



* B. Shanee is a research fellow at MEMRI.




[2], February 2012; May 2013; February 16, 2015.

[3], September 2, 2014.

[4], October 10, 2015. See also MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6182, Palestinian Bar Association Awards Honorary Law Degree To Killer Of Two Israelis In Jerusalem, October 11, 2015.

[5], November 1, 2015.




[9], February 9, 6, 2016.

[10], February 9, 2016.

[11], February 7, 2016.

[12], February 2, 6, 2016.



[15], October 4, 2015.

[16], November 24, 2015.


[18];;;, May 19, 2015;, March 14, 2008.

[19], January 17, 2016.

[20], January 30, 2016.


[22], November 14, 2014.

[23], September 7, 2014.

[24], March 25, 2014.

[25], September 29, 2015, October 19, 2015, December 12, 2013.


[27], January 11, 2016.

[28], October 22, 2015;

[29], February 15, 2016.

[30], October 16, 2015.

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