Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok and Development Minister Sigrid Kaag admitted that their government has been paying part of the salaries of two terrorists who were involved in planning the attack that killed 17-year-old Israeli, Rina Shnerb, last year.
The Dutch parliament donates funds to the Palestinian Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), and one government representative even pledged nearly $20 million to the organization from 2013-2021. The two terrorists were listed as “employees of a partner organization of the Dutch representation.” They are also members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist group.
The Netherlands is suspending donations to UAWC indefinitely and will launch an investigation.
Shnerb died when a bomb planted by a spring in Dolev was detonated, killing her and injuring her father Rabbi Eitan Shnerb and her brother Dvir in August 2019.
“The news that two PFLP terrorists were paid with Dutch tax money, and even carried a pass from the Dutch representative office in Ramallah, is shocking but… it comes as no surprise,” the Dutch-Israel advocacy organization Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI) said in a statement. “It is a good step for ministers to admit this now, but concrete measures must be taken to prevent further Palestinian terrorism from being financed with Dutch tax money in the future.”
Samer Arbid, an accountant with UAWC, was arrested and indicted on 21 counts while Abdul Razeq Farraj, UAWC’s Finance and Administration director, was indicted on four counts related to aiding in the bombing.
NGO Monitor said it hoped that sanctions would follow. Italy and Spain also donate to UAWC.
Meanwhile, Israeli intelligence announced Tuesday it had discovered an Iranian-backed terror cell operating in West Bank, which was responsible for the attack that killed Shnerb among some 50 others. The Shin Bet thwarted further attacks against Israeli citizens and soldiers by this PFLP cell, trained and financed by Iran and Hezbollah, the agency said.
The terror cell operated under the guise of a civilian organization. After an activist was arrested in April, the Shin Bet learned about weapons purchases, recruitment, training and planned attacks in the West Bank, including abducting a soldier.
The discovery of this cell underscores the “deep involvement of Iran and Hezbollah in promoting terrorist activity against Israel,” the statement said.
“The investigation once again emphasized the close ties that exist between Iran, Hezbollah and the Popular Front terrorist organization, in favor of promoting terrorist activity against Israel,” the agency said. “We will continue to work to prevent any terrorist activity against Israeli citizens.”