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Closing NGOs undermining Abu Mazen government PDF Print E-mail
Oct 08, 2007 at 12:00 AM

From our West Bank Correspondent, Conflicts Forum, October 8, 2007

The Al-Wurud Organization supports 130 poor families by providing food packages during holy days, feasts, and at the beginning of the school year. They hold workshops for women on social, educational and health issues. But the Palestinian government — the emergency government declared by Abu Mazen — is closing Al-Wurud, along with hundreds of others just like it. The emergency government claims that the organizations are being closed because they “are not properly registered.” But, in fact, it now appears that the charities that are being closed have crossed a thin political line being drawn by Abu Mazen: it is not that they are not registered, it is that they are registered in the wrong place. As Sumud Dameeree, a lawyer at the Ministry of Interior notes: “Why did these charities register in Gaza when they are located in the West Bank? They are required by law to register in their place and not in Gaza.”

Fadwa Eshaer, a director at the ministry argues that NGOs like Al-Wurud bring with them an Islamist agenda. “We need to build a state,” she says. “We do not need funds from Syria or Iran that will destroy our society. We do not need violence. We don’t need such NGOs which nurture an extreme Islamist agenda.” But Eshaer failed to detail exactly what Islamist agenda a bread-baking NGO like Al-Wurud promotes — or how supporting poor families by providing food packages promotes violence or “nurtures an extreme Islamist agenda.” ...

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