RAMALLAH, Thursday, January 06, 2022 (WAFA) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Expatriates deplored today the decision of the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to no longer provide funding for the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), a Palestinian non-governmental organization that helps farmers in the occupied territories.
“This is a persecutory action against Palestinian civil society that serves the cynical and hostile objectives of the occupying power. This decision places the Dutch government on the wrong side of the global trend to elevate human rights and fight off undemocratic trends to shrink civil society space,” said the Ministry.
The Ministry warned that this defunding will have serious consequences on the lives of vulnerable Palestinian communities that UWAC has served for years.
It affirmed that this step “blindly accepts baseless Israeli allegations against UAWC that were disproven by other States and organizations, including in Europe. Further, it lends legitimacy to Israel's witch-hunt against Palestinian civil society.”
“The Dutch government's decision will embolden anti-Palestinian groups and politicians to push their destructive agenda further in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe. It also panders to the efforts of anti-Palestinian pressure groups to politicize aid and assistance, defame, criminalize, defund and undermine the work of Palestinian civil society organizations that legitimately resist and challenge the illegal policies,” added the Foreign Ministry.
“Palestine calls on the Dutch government to rescind its decision on ending funding to UAWC and considers that insisting on this persecutory measure will reflect negatively on our bilateral relations. To that end, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates will officially demarche the representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to communicate the Palestinian position in this regard.”