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foreign aid Switzerland cuts funding to Palestinian NGO with suspected violent links


A view of the city of Ramallah, where the NGO is based.


Switzerland’s Foreign Affairs ministry has confirmed that it has stopped funding a Palestinian women’s rights NGO, following an investigation that showed links to a terrorist figure.

The story was reported in the SonntagsZeitung newspaper and confirmed Sunday by the Swiss News Agency, ATS.

The NGO in question is the Ramallah-based Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC), which professes on its website to promote “a democratic free Palestinian society that ensures plurality, social justice and equality between women and men”.

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However, information recently emerged that the group had named a youth centre after an unnamed Palestinian terrorist, prompting donor countries – Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Denmark – to revoke their support.

The foreign affairs ministry told ATS that the actions of WATC broken written agreements made with another group that administered the payments in the Palestinian Territories, the Human Rights and International Human Law Secretariat, also based in Ramallah.

The agreements stipulated that recipient groups should shun any appeal to violence or hate.

The last instalment of Switzerland’s funding to the group – some $36,000 – will not be paid.


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