Israel’s Shin Bet security agency charged Thursday that funds donated by European governments for humanitarian work for Palestinians had been diverted to an armed group.
The agency said that seven civil society groups involved in humanitarian work in the Israeli-occupied West Bank had “defrauded and deceived several European countries”.
Money from Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium, Sweden, Spain and the EU had been diverted to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which has been designated a terrorist group by several Western states.
An Israeli official, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity, indicated the funds channelled to the PFLP amounted to millions of euros (dollars).
The Shin Bet said a suspect in the case was Juana Rashmawi, who has Spanish citizenship.
It said an investigation revealed “the diversion of considerable amounts of funding, received from official governmental institutions in Europe, towards the financing of the PFLP’s organisational and militant terrorist activities in the West Bank”.
It did not give specific figures.
“None of the governments knew where the money was going,” the Israeli official said, despite “flashing red lights” that could have warned the European donors.