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February 20, 2014
Oxfam International Secretrariat 266 Branbury Road Suite 20 Oxfrod OX2 7DL United Kingdom Fax: +44 1865 339 101 Oxfam Novib Mauritskade P.O. Box 30919 2500 GX Den Haag The Netherlands Fax: +31 70 361 4461 Oxfam America 226 Causeway Street 5th Floor Boston, MA 02114-2206 USA Fax: +1 617 728 2594 Oxfam Australia 132 Leicester Street Carlton VIC 3053 Australia Fax: +61 3 9347 1983
Re: Criminal and civil liability relating to Oxfam’s provision of assets & material support to the Union of Health Workers Committees and the Union of Agricultural Workers Committees
Dear Sirs, Shurat HaDin—Israel Law Center, an organization dedicated to enforcing basic human rights through the legal system, represents victims of Palestinian and Islamic terrorism in courtrooms around the world. It has been brought to our attention that Oxfam International, Oxfam Novib and other Oxfam affiliates provide financial aid and additional forms of material support to the Union of Health Workers Committees (UHWC) and the Union of Agricultural
Workers Committees (“UAWC”), instrumentalities of the terrorist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (“PFLP”) in the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority. Oxfam readily acknowledges it works very closely with these two Palestinian groups and provides them financial support. Your organization has described them as your "partners" in the numerous press communications and reports you have published. Indeed, last month you signed a new agreement with the UHWC to provide it with further financial support. The PFLP is a notorious terrorist organization with a long history of anti-Israel terrorist activities and active advocacy of armed “resistance,” a euphemism for terrorism. Among other things, it is infamous for its involvement in numerous terrorist attacks around the world targeting the Israeli airline El Al and its passengers, the 1972 Lod Airport Massacre in which 28 passengers were killed and the assassination of then Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Ze’evi on October 17, 2001. The PFLP is responsible for the criminal deaths of Israeli, American and European victims around the world. Several of its leaders are currently serving life sentences in Israeli prisons for their involvement in heinous terrorist attacks. The PFLP's terrorist activities against Israeli civilians continue to this day includes: kidnapping attempts planned bombing of a synagogue in the Israeli city of Modi’in placement of explosive charges on Jerusalem roads attacks on Israeli settlements and army checkpoints rocket attacks on Israeli towns, including the recent rocket attack targeting the participants in the funeral of the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon • the horrific massacre of five members of the Fogel family, including three young children in their home on Friday night (the Jewish Sabbath), March 11, 2011. • • • • • The PFLP is a proscribed terrorist entity listed by the European Union under Council Common Position 2001/931/CSFP (the “EU Common Position”) and Council Decision 2012/333/CFSP. Article 3 of the EU Common Position prohibits the making available of, directly or indirectly, funds, financial assets or economic resources or other related services to or for the benefit of the listed terrorist entities. The Netherlands has effectively adopted the EU terrorist designations and terrorist financing restrictions through amendments to its Sanctions Act 1977 adopted in 2002. The UAHC is the PFLP’s health organization and UAWC is the PLFP's agricultural organization and these entities are an agency or instrumentality of the PFLP. By providing financial aid to the UAHC and/or the UAWC, Oxfam directly or indirectly makes assets available to the PLFP. The PFLP is a designated terrorist entity pursuant to the United Kingdom’s Terrorist Asset Freezing Act of 2010 (the “UK Act”). Sections 12-15 of the UK Act contain provisions similar to those in the EU Common Position prohibiting the making available of, directly or indirectly, funds, financial assets or economic resources or other related services to or for the benefit of the listed terrorist entities.
The PFLP is also officially designated under United States law as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization,” pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.), as amended by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-132); as a “Specially Designated Terrorist,” pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (P.L. 95-223; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) and Presidential Executive Order 12947; and as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” pursuant to Presidential Executive Order 13224. The PFLP is a also proscribed terrorist organization listed by the Australian Government under the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945 (“the Act”). It is an offence, under section 21 of the Act for an individual or corporation to directly or indirectly make an asset available to a proscribed person or entity. Under Australian law, the provision of any financial aid to a proscribed organization is illegal even if the source of this money is an Australian government aid program as section 23 of the Act provides that it prevails over any other law. The UHWC and the UAWC are the PFLP’s health and agricultural organizations, respectively. These organizations were created by the PFLP and they operate under the direct patronage and in close cooperation with the PFLP. Below are some examples of the close coordination between the PFLP and these organizations. UHWC • • The UHWC is listed on the website of the Palestinian Shahid Organization as being subordinate to the PFLP. In January 2004, the UHWC provided medical services to the residents of the Askar refugee camp near Nablus under the auspices of a PFLP sponsored event to express solidarity with imprisoned PFLP leader Ahmed Saadat. In May 2006, the UHWC provided medical services to residents of the Khan Yunis refugee camp in coordination with the PFLP. In April 2008, the UHWC working jointly with the PFLP’s Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees provided medical services to residents of Jeninn. In July 2010, the PFLP conducted a memorial event in honor of Ghassan Kanafani, a PFLP leader and spokesman, at a center belonging to UHWC. Some of the same senior leaders in the UHWC also hold senior positions in the PFLP, including Dr. Ahmed Maslamani who served at the same time as the head of the PFLP and the UHWC in the West Bank and was imprisoned by Israel in the past for his PFLP activities.
UAWC • • • The UAWC is identified on numerous websites as belonging to the PFLP. In 2009, the PFLP held an event in the UAWC’s hall in Khan Yunis. The PFLP participates and speaks at UAWC events, including the UAWC’s annual conference in Ramallah in 2011 where PFLP spokesman - Ali Jaradat -
spoke and the UAWC’s political protest outside UN headquarters in Gaza City in 2011, which the PFLP actively supported. Some of the same senior leaders in the UAWC also hold senior positions in the PFLP, including Bashir al Kheiry and Jamil Muhammad Ismail alMajdalawi, both of whom served and/or continue to serve in leadership positions in both the PFLP and the UAWC, both of whom served time in Israeli prison for their activities on behalf of the PFLP.
In addition, both the UAWC and the UHWC have extended their activities beyond agriculture and health to anti-Israel political activities such as land day protests, publicly opposing Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, supporting boycotts and divestments of Israeli academia and companies and the like. Please be advised that providing services to the terrorist instrumentalities UHWC and/or the UAWC is illegal and may have already exposed Oxfam, its global affiliates and its officers to criminal prosecution and civil liability to Israeli, European, American, Australian citizens and others victimised by terrorism sponsored by the PFLP the parent organization of the UHWC and the UAWC. The PFLP’s funding is shared and distributed among its family of institutions and instrumentalities, including the UHWC and the UAWC. The PFLP is the controlling hand of the UHWC and the UAWC and PFLP members form the executive of those organizations. I also call your attention to the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 561 U.S. 1 (2010), 130 S. Ct. 2705 (2010), which found that providing any assistance or support to designated terrorist groups, include putatively benign forms of assistance (such as agricultural aid) is criminal. In Holder the Court stated: “Moreover, material support meant to promote peaceable, lawful conduct can be diverted to advance terrorism in multiple ways. The record shows that designated foreign terrorist organizations do not maintain organizational firewalls between funds raised for humanitarian activities and those used to carry out terrorist attacks.” Your provision of aid to the UHWC and/or the UAWC, which inures to the benefit and interests of the PFLP, constitutes the type of seemingly innocuous material support that renders your organization and you personally criminally and/or civilly liable under EU, Dutch, UK, Israeli, Australian, and United States law. This includes liability for past, present and future terrorist attacks carried out by the PFLP. Accordingly, any provision of material support or resources to the UHWC and/or the UAWC by Oxfam and/or its officers constitutes a criminal violation of the Dutch Sanctions Act 1977 pursuant to the Dutch Economic Offences Act; section 32 of the UK Act; section 21 of Charter of the United Nations Act 1945 (Australia); and the criminal and civil provisions of Chapter 113B, Title 18 United States Code, and of the criminal provisions of the US International Emergency Economic Powers Act, of
numerous US Executive Orders and of their implementing regulations (31 CFR Parts 594, 595 and 597). Many U.S. entities and individuals who have provided material support to terrorists have been sued by the terror victims and their families for aiding and abetting international terrorism. Many of these defendants now find themselves defending against multi-million dollar civil actions in federal courts around the United States. In addition, corporations that provided material support to militant organizations in the Middle East are currently defendants in multi-million dollar civil actions in U.S. federal courts brought by the victims of these groups, and officers and principals of such corporations have also become defendants. See e.g. Abecassis v. Wyatt, 785 F.Supp.2d 614 (S.D.Tex. 2011); Wultz v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 755 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D.D.C. 2010). In light of the above, we request that you immediately provide us written confirmation that Oxfam has discontinued the provision of aid and material support to the UHWC and the UAWC. Absent such confirmation, we will seek all available relief and remedies against Oxfam and its officers in all relevant jurisdictions.
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Esq. Attorney (Israel)