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31/8/2017 Creating Humanitarian Space in the Era of the Global War on Terrorism: Context of the Gaza Strip

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Dissertation
Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Action

Academic Year 2014-2015

Creating Humanitarian Space in the


Era of the Global War on Terrorism:
Context of the Gaza Strip

Submitted by
Mara Celeste SANCHEZ BEAN

Examining Board:

Supervisor: Mrs. Claire Barthlmy Daz


President of the Board:
Expert:

September 2015

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Abstract
This dissertation analyses how humanitarian space is created in the Gaza Strip in the context of
the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) since Hamas came to power in 2007. By adopting a
denition of humanitarian space as a political arena, it focuses on the negotiated nature of this
space and the role played by States and humanitarian international non-governmental
organizations (INGOs) in its creation. In this line, this research explores how States and
humanitarian INGOs interpret the context of Gaza, and its consequences for humanitarian action.
With the GWOT acting as a framework, the analysis reveals that the strategy of States to defeat
Hamas has focused on targeting its welfare system, both by imposing the blockade and by
controlling the provision of aid, including that of INGOs. On the other hand, it suggests that
INGOs interpretation of their role as neutral and apolitical has led them to disregard the very
political nature of their activities in Gaza, and to be instrumentalized in the war against Hamas.

Keywords
Counter-terrorism; Gaza Strip; Geopolitics of Aid; Global War on Terrorism; Hamas;
Humanitarian Space; Instrumentalization of Aid; NGOs; Palestine; Terrorism

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Index
Introduction.. 4
Limitations. 6
Structure. 7
Methodology.. 7
Chapter I: Literature Review. 8
Origin of the Concept of Humanitarian Space: a Depoliticized Space.. 8
Current Uses of the Concept of Humanitarian Space 9
Humanitarian Space as Agency Space... 9
Humanitarian Space as Affected Community Space. 10
Humanitarian Space as International Humanitarian Law.. 10
Humanitarian Space as a Humanitarian (Political) Arena. 10
The Global War on Terror.. 12
Dening Terrorism. 13
Counter-terrorism Measures after 9/11...................................................................... 14
Multilateral Legal and Political Framework.. 15
Material Support 16
The Fungibility Argument.. 17
Sanctions 18
Donor Policies 19
Humanitarian Space, the GWOT and Gaza... 19
Chapter II: Discussion. 21
Governments Interpretation of the Context in Gaza and the Creation of

Humanitarian Space... 21
Humanitarian INGOs Interpretation of the Context in Gaza and the Creation of
Humanitarian Space... 25

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Conclusion. 32
Bibliography. 33

Annex I: Consequences of Counter-terrorism Measures for Humanitarian Action. 56


Annex II: Humanitarian INGOs Working in the Gaza Strip as of September 2014. 61

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INTRODUCTION

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, the UN Security Council passed resolution 1373 that
requires all UN member states to refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive,
to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, as well as to prohibit their nationals and
individuals in their territories from providing such support. It further obliges all UN member
states to criminalize support of or participation in terrorist acts (Modirzadeh, Lewis &
Bruderlein, 2011, p. 637). As a consequence, in the years following 2001 most states passed a

series of laws and measures that aimed to prevent and criminalize support to terrorist
organizations.
But designated terrorist organizations are key stakeholders in many humanitarian settings. In
some cases, they control part of the territory where the affected population resides, and therefore
access and implementation of programs are dependent on successful negotiations with these
1
groups. Furthermore, humanitarian organisations may be demanded to pay taxes, and in some
cases they might go as far as tolerating a certain level of aid diversion (Pantuliano, Mackintosh,
& Elhawary, 2011, p.6). In these scenarios and as a consequence of counter-terrorist laws and
policies, humanitarian NGOs may be subject to their proscription, the freezing of their assets,
and the blockade of their nancial activities. Members of the organizations might be criminally
prosecuted, even if they did not act in support of unlawful actions (Adelsberg, Pitts & Shebaya,
2012-2013).
Counter-terrorism laws and measures have received some attention from scholars and think-
2
tanks doing research in the eld of humanitarian action . Such research has accomplished the
important task of listing the direct consequences of counter-terrorism in the operations of
humanitarian agencies and their principles. But this agency centered analyses disregards the
intrinsically political nature of the space where operations occur and it does not reect on the
underlying factors of the process of forming this humanitarian space. In fact, there is a

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1 In this paper, humanitarian organizations are dened as those providing assistance and/or conducting
protection programs on an impartial basis in response to human needs, resulting from complex political
emergencies and natural hazards (ReliefWeb, 2008).
2 For a brief summary and analyses of the results of research conducted on the consequences of counter-

terrorism measures for humanitarian action, see Annex I.

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problem as we lack sufcient understanding about how humanitarian space is created in the
3
context of the GWOT .
To move forward in this reection, it is necessary to understand that, as developed in Chapter I,
humanitarian space is a complex concept that can be understood in a variety of ways: as agency
space, as affected community space, as International Humanitarian Law or as a political arena
(Collison & Elhawary, 2012; Hilhorst & Jansen, 2010). The prevalent acceptation in the analysis
of counter-terrorism and humanitarian action is the one of agency space, which assumes that
humanitarian space is a depoliticized and exclusive space for humanitarian agencies. But to

understand how humanitarian space is created, it is necessary to move away from this
acceptation towards a more dynamic one, that not only recognizes that humanitarian space is
eminently political, but also takes this fact as the basis of the denition. Therefore, in ts
4
dissertation humanitarian space will be understood as an arena where actors negotiate the
outcomes of aid (). The realities and outcomes of aid depend on how actors along and around
the aid chain - donor representatives, headquarters, eld staff, aid recipients and surrounding
actors - interpret the context, the needs, their own role and each other (Hilhorst & Jansen, 2010,
p. 1120).
The purpose of this dissertation is to analyze how humanitarian space is created in the context of
the GWOT in the Gaza Strip (Gaza). Humanitarian organizations are often driven by the
humanitarian imperative, frequently underestimating the political repercussions of aid
operations. But working under current counter-terrorism laws and measures undermines basic
humanitarian principles and can lead to instrumentalization of humanitarian action (Delaunay,
Romero & Vonckx, 2014).

3 Although the War on Terror was rst declared by former US president George W. Bush on a televised
statement after the 9/11 attacks, the concept quickly acquired a broader meaning. Hence, the GWOT has
come to denote all military, political and economic measures taken by States to ght the phenomenon of
terrorism worldwide (Boyer, 2004).
Although Chapter I discusses the concept of terrorism, this dissertation does not adopt a single use of the

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concept and therefore a denition is not pertinent. What is important in the proposed approach is the
political act of listing a certain organization as terrorist and the consequences for humanitarian action of
such a designation.
4 Negotiation is here understood as an ongoing process, with both formal and informal moments, that

occurs deliberately or without intention as an unavoidable result of the different actors conduct on a
specic issue (in this case, humanitarian action) regarding which there is a certain level of disagreement
(denition based on elements of Hilhorst & Jansen, 2010).

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The case study has been chosen because in Gaza, where Hamas has been in control since 2007,
the challenge of providing humanitarian relief while abiding by counter-terrorism laws and
donors policies is at its highest. This is because Hamas has been designated a terrorist group by
key donors, and also because having won the elections in 2006 the group has demonstrated a
certain degree of legitimacy within the population of Gaza, which makes them an even more
important interlocutor for humanitarian action. On the other hand, Israel has imposed a blockade
5
on Gaza since 2007 , which not only has severely deteriorated the capacity of the population to
meet their basic needs, but has also jeopardized the efforts of humanitarian organizations to
provide humanitarian assistance (Gaza Blockade: no Signs of Loosening, 2014). Although
counter-terrorism measures combined with the situation in Gaza seem to create an impossible
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scenario for humanitarian relief, as of September 2014 at least 69 local and international
organizations were providing assistance to around two million people (OCHA, 2014).
To answer the principal question of how humanitarian space is created in the context of the
GWOT in Gaza, two questions must be answered:
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1. How do governments involved in the GWOT interpret the context in Gaza and how does
this inuence the creation of humanitarian space?
2. How do humanitarian INGOs interpret the context of Gaza and how does this inuence the
creation of humanitarian space?

Limitations
It must be said that there are some clear limitations to this paper. First of all, not all the actors in
the aid chain will be considered, since such an attempt exceeds the scope of this work. Second,
part of this dissertation attempts to describe how States and humanitarian INGOs interpret the
context of Gaza. However, interpretations are subjective, and therefore they are extremely
difcult to elucidate. In response to this challenge, this dissertation offers an analyses of

5 It is important to mention that Egypt has played an important role in the blockade of Gaza, considering

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that although the opening of the Rafah crossing that connects Egypt with Gaza has greatly oscillated since
2006, from 2013 when islamist president Mohamed Mursi was overturned by the army, the crossing has
been closed or severely restricted most of the time (Gaza Crossings: movement of people and goods, n.
d.).
6 Among these, 28 are international humanitarian non-governmental organizations.

7 In this dissertation, context will be used broadly to include political, security and humanitarian

elements. Depending on each actors agenda, some of the elements may prevail over others.

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behaviors and public statements, from which it deduces the interpretation that these actors make
on the context of Gaza. Third, both States and humanitarian INGOs are complex ideas,
composed by individual and diverse entities. However, for the propose of this dissertation,
working at the level of general interpretations shared by most of the individual actors will sufx.
Last, this is a very delicate topic for humanitarian INGOs, for which safeguarding the continuity
of their operations is the highest priority. Therefore, the information used to analyze their
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interpretation of the context in Gaza is based mainly on public statements . Additionally,
research papers done on this subject that were based on interviews with humanitarian INGOs
were used as a secondary source of information.

Structure
In terms of structure, the rst chapter (Literature Review) discusses the concept of
Humanitarian Space (its evolution and uses), and develops further its acceptation as a political
arena. It also reviews the idea of the GWOT (specically explaining the governmental counter-
terrorism measures that have direct repercussions for humanitarian action). Building upon the
previous chapter, chapter II (Discussion) examines the interpretation of the context of Gaza
made by governments and humanitarian INGOs and its effects in the resulting humanitarian
space. The main ndings of the dissertation are highlighted in the conclusion. Finally, the two
annexes to this dissertation give account of what researchers have found to be the consequences
of counter-terrorism measures in humanitarian action worldwide (Annex I) and of information
gathered about humanitarian INGOs currently operating in Gaza (Annex II).

Methodology
This dissertation is based on a literature review (of books, academic papers and reports, using
print versions as well as online publications) on the concepts of humanitarian space and the
GWOT (and how the latter affects the former), and on public statements and information of the
interpretation made by governments and humanitarian INGOs of the context of Gaza.
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8 All the organizations listed in the Annex II have been contacted by e-mail to gather additional
information for this paper (Mdecins Sans Frontires being the only exception, since information
available to the public was deemed sufcient). Some of these organizations agreed to answer a few
questions, that were used to verify the ideas expressed in this paper. However, all the organizations
requested not to be quoted due to the high degree of sensitivity of the issue being studied.

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Specically, 28 INGOs have been analyzed. The selection has been made among a list of
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organizations operating in Gaza as of September 2014 (OCHA, 2014) . Information
condentially provided by humanitarian INGOs via e-mail has also been used to verify the
ndings of this paper.

CHAPTER I: LITERATURE REVIEW

Origin of the Concept of Humanitarian Space: a Depoliticized Space


The concept of humanitarian space was rst used to in connection with the restrictions
inicted on the operating environment of humanitarian organizations working in the extremely
politicized conditions of Cold War related conicts in Central America in the late 80s and early
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90s. Although there are various claims about who rst coined the term , most authors recognize
that its broader use started in the 1990s when former president of Mdecins Sans Frontires
(MSF) Rony Brauman used the phrase espace humanitaire to allude to an environment where
humanitarian organizations could provide humanitarian assistance disassociated from political
agendas. By late 1990s the term was largely used by humanitarian organizations (Hubert &
Brassard-Bordreau, 2010). This early use of the concept is similar to what today is the most
common acceptation of the term: as a synonym of operating environment or agency space,
distinct and separate from any political aspects or inuence.
Although the concept itself is not limited to situations of armed conict, its most common usage
is directly linked to the changing nature of armed conict and the geopolitical shifts (Hubert &
Brassard-Bordreau, 2010). Since the politicization of the Cold War led to the inception of the
concept, it should be of no surprise that the term is gaining momentum again (now in the context

9 For an overview of the organizations considered in this research, please see Annex II. It is necessary to
make several clarications regarding how the selection has been made. First, the qualication has been
made based on the publicly (often on Internet) stated aim and the activities of each organization. In this
sense, not all of the considered organizations denominate themselves literally as humanitarian, but if

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they provide
have humanitarian
a dual identity assistance
in terms in this context,
of humanitarian they have aid
and development beenhave
included. Second, organizations
been included. This is due to that
the
fact that because of the nature of the situation in Gaza, the majority of the activities include a
humanitarian component. Forth, local NGOs (18) have not been included. Fifth, private companies and
UN agencies have been excluded. Last, organizations that were listed more than once by OCHA because
different chapters of the organization have operations in Gaza, are only considered once.
10 For a review of the history of the concept, see: Abild (2010, p. 69).

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of the GWOT) as scholars and practitioners debate on whether the ability of humanitarian
agencies to provide humanitarian aid is decreasing (phenomenon often referred to as shrinking
of humanitarian space) as a consequence of trends such as the cooptation of humanitarian
operations within counter-insurgency campaigns, integrated UN missions and the overlap with
development aid (Collison & Elhaway, 2012, p.3). In this regard, it is commonplace among
humanitarian actors to call for greater respect of the humanitarian principles (Collison &
Elhaway, 2012, p.1) to safeguard humanitarian space.

Current Uses of the Concept of Humanitarian Space


Needless to say, there is no agreement on a denition of humanitarian space, and each
humanitarian agency adopts a denition that is in line with its identity. In their thorough study of
humanitarian space, Collinson and Elhawary (2012) identify four uses of the concept. According
to them, humanitarian space can be understood as agency space, as affected community space, as
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international humanitarian law and (what they propose) as a complex political, military and
legal arena. In this paper, the concept of humanitarian space is understood according to this last
meaning.

Humanitarian Space as Agency Space


Also referred to as actor centered approach (Mills, 2013, p. 607). The humanitarian agency is
the core of this denition. In this sense, humanitarian space would refer to the agencys
capability to respond to humanitarian needs in accordance with the humanitarian principles. That
being said, there are differences among agencies regarding their particular understanding of
humanitarian space. MSF, for example, emphasizes on the suffering and needs of people, and
neutrality therefore not being the highest priority. The United Nations has a more instrumental
view; the UN Ofce of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) refers to
humanitarian space as an operating environment for relief organizations and recognizes that
the perception of adherence to the key operating principles of neutrality and impartiality ()
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represents the critical means by which the prime objective of ensuring that suffering must be met

wherever it is found, can be achieved (OCHA, 2004, p. 14). But as a state-based international

11 For a complete review of humanitarian space in IHL, see Beuchamp (2012).

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organization, OCHAs denition purposely excludes the principle of independence as a


precondition for creating and maintaining humanitarian space. The idea of humanitarian space
as agency space has been criticized as it puts the emphasis on agencies ability to access
communities in need instead of communities ability to access relief (Abild, 2010, p. 74).

Humanitarian Space as Affected Community Space


Also referred to as people centered approach (Mills, 2013, p. 607), the affected community is
at the center of this denition, although humanitarian agencies remain essential. UNHCR
(Tennat, Doyle, & Mazou, 2010, p.4) and Oxfams denitions (Oxfam International, 2005, p. 2)
fall under this category.

Humanitarian Space as International Humanitarian Law


For the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), humanitarian space is rooted in
International Humanitarian Law (IHL) (Grombach, 2005), it is primarily a responsibility of
States and it is directly linked to the humanitarian principles (Thurer, 2007). Although IHL
provides only for impartial humanitarian space, the ICRC has been mandated as a neutral and
independent organization. Therefore, in their view humanitarian space refers to a space for
neutral and independent humanitarian action must be preserved at all times, within a larger and
more diverse humanitarian space (Grombach, 2005). Although useful to advocate in favor of
populations affected by armed conict, the legal understanding of humanitarian space is a partial
one since it does not encompass the dynamic process of creation and preservation of
humanitarian space in specic cases.

Humanitarian Space as a Humanitarian (Political) Arena


All the above described uses of the term, despite their differences, continue the tradition of
understanding humanitarian space as an apolitical and distinct space for principled humanitarian
action. However, it has been argued that this use is aspirational in character and contrary to
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empirical evidence that demonstrates that these spaces are highly politicized (Hilhorst & Jansen,
2010).
The term humanitarian, in this view, does not denote ownership (implicitly, the idea of
humanitarian space as agency space denotes an exclusive sphere of action belonging to

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humanitarian agencies) but peoples ability to be safe and protected and to have at least the

bare minimum of resources necessary to live (Mills, 2013, p. 608). Following Hilhorst and
Jansen (2010) space is understood as a socially negotiated arena (p. 1120). Humanitarian
space is, then, an arena where actors negotiate the outcomes of aid (). The realities and
outcomes of aid depend on how actors along and around the aid chain - donor representatives,
headquarters, eld staff, aid recipients and surrounding actors - interpret the context, the needs,
their own role and each other (Hilhorst & Jansen, 2010, p. 1120).
This view demands a reassessment of the intimate relationship between humanitarian action and
politics. The premise of this position is that it is not possible to create depoliticized
humanitarian spaces (Kleinfeld, 2007, p. 180) and that the idea that government authorities and
armed groups should not be involved in humanitarian action is problematic in practice and even
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contrary to IHL .
This vision also recognizes the multiplicity of actors providing humanitarian assistance and
involved in the creation of humanitarian space, to include UN agencies, multiple mandate
NGOs, suppliers from the international and local private sector, and military contingents
providing aid in inaccessible areas or protecting its delivery by civilian actors (Hilhorst &
Jansen, 2010, p. 1121). For principled humanitarian agencies, for whose work respect of
humanitarian principles is paramount, and in case of the ICRC even a legal obligation
(Grombach, 2005), being conscious of the role that different actors have in creating humanitarian
space is essential. The ability to discern between the aspirational aspect of humanitarian action
and its reality in specic contexts enables principled humanitarian organizations to critically
analyze how other actors are reshaping what humanitarian action is. In the context of the GWOT,
principled humanitarian action is being challenged. Governments use relief to win hearts and

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12According to the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, the primary responsibility
for the survival of the population lies with the authorities or, in the case of occupation, with the occupying
power. If the responsible authorities cannot provide the indispensable supplies for the civilian population,
humanitarian and impartial relief action may be undertaken. Both Additional Protocols I and II require the
consent of the parties concerned for relief actions to take place. Per a recent study from the ICRC, these
rules have become customary IHL. For more information, see Rule 55 at Customary IHL (2015).

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minds and organizations complying with counter-terrorism measures compromise their
14
principles .

The Global War on Terror


The attack took place on American soil, but it was an attack on the heart and soul of the

civilized world. And the world has come together to ght a new and different war (). A war
against all those who seek to export terror, and a war against those governments that support or
shelter them (Text: Bush on State of War, 2001). Such were the words the former president of
the United States George W. Bush chose to address the entire nation (and an apprehensive global
audience) in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, marking the beginning of a series of
measures that, as part of the GWOT, would target support to terrorist groups in a vast majority of
countries.
As expressed by Bhungalia, the political abstraction of the GWOT served the purpose of
creating a narrative in terms of friend-enemy. This narrative is developed in line with Carl
Schmitts political philosophy: the greater the distinction between us and them by the
political authority in power, the more likely the success of its policy (Bhungalia, 2010, p. 349).
In the GWOT, the distinction could not be greater. The conict is between two irreconcilable,
antagonistic positions: the civilized nations on the one hand, the supporters of terrorism in the
other. Although the concept of terrorism itself is not new, never before had this narrative
dominated world and domestic politics as it does since the 9/11 attack. The dimension of the
attack, both in terms of loss of human lives and in its symbolic signicance, led the US
government to qualify it as an armed attack, enabling it to take initiatives of self-defense as
stipulated in the UN charter (Macrae & Harmer, 2003, p. 2). Terrorism had transcended the
15
borders of domestic politics into the sphere of international peace and security . Hence, the
necessity to analyze its repercussions on humanitarian space.

13 In a military and political context, winning hearts and minds refers to the strategy of persuading
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supporters of the enemy using emotional or intellectual allure, by means that include the delivery of aid
(Williamson, 2011).
14 See Annex 1 (Consequences on Humanitarian Principles).

15 After the 9/11 attack, the UN Security Council passed resolution 1373 under chapter VII of the charter

instructing states to adopt counterterrorism legislation, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO) invoked the treatys mutual defense clause for the rst time.

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Dening terrorism
Terrorism is not a new phenomenon. As a term, terrorism can be traced back (at least) to the
French Revolution, having been employed in 1794 to refer to the use of terror by the French
16
revolutionary state . In a very different context, the Bolsheviks used it to legitimize their actions
against enemies of the state (Macrae & Harmer, 2003, p. 2). Terrorist campaigns have arisen all
over the world and in response to several types of situations, such as to colonial rule and to
foreign occupation (Roberts, 2008, p. 4).
As Adam Roberts eloquently observed, the word terrorism () is confusing, dangerous and
indispensable. Confusing, because it means very different things to different people, and its
meaning has also changed greatly over time. Dangerous, because it easily becomes an instrument
of propaganda, and a means of avoiding thinking about the many forms and causes of political
violence. Indispensable, because there is a real phenomenon out there that poses a threat to many
societies (Roberts, 2008, p. 4). Although the UN General Assembly has adopted 13
international conventions prohibiting particular terrorist acts (Text and Status of the United
17
Nations Conventions on Terrorism, n.d.), there is still not a general denition of terrorism .
18
Counter-terrorism legislation at national level does not reect consensus neither (Human
Rights Watch, 2012, p. 18).
In a survey conducted in 1988, of 109 denitions of terrorism the 3 concepts that were included
the most were violence" (83.5%), political (65%) and fear/terror (51%) (Schmid & Jungian,
1988). A review of the literature in this topic reveals that those components are still widely
agreed upon. For example, widely quoted terrorism specialist Bruce Hoffman, denes terrorism
as the deliberate creation and exploitation of fear through violence or the threat of violence in
19
the pursuit of political change (Hoffman, 2006, p. 40). Perhaps one of the most widely

16 In this regard, Bruce Hoffman notes that at the time the term had a positive connotation. In the words of
Maximilian Robespierre terror is nothing but justice, prompt, severe and inexible; it is therefore an
emanation of virtue. Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism (2nd Edition), New York: Columbia University
Press, 2006.
17 As an example, terrorism experts Steven and Gunaratna (2004, p. 4) dene terrorism as being driven by

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political motive, using political as a synonym of ideological, ethnic and religious. Such an overstretch
of the term is common in the reviewed literature.
18 For a compilation of how different agencies and governments have dened terrorism, see Orr, A.

(2012). Terrorism: a Philosophical Discourse. Journal of Applied Security Research, 7 (1), pp. 178-179.
19 Hoffman elaborates on the political aspect by adding that terrorism is designated to create power

where there is none or to consolidate power where there is very little. Though the publicity generated by

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accepted denitions of terrorism (which also reects these minimum agreement) is that
suggested by Michael Walzer, for whom terrorism is the deliberate killing of innocent people, at
random, in order to spread fear through a whole population and force the hand of its political
20
leaders (Walzer, 2002).
For the purpose of this paper, this general idea about the meaning of terrorism is sufcient.
Based on the understanding of humanitarian space that has been proposed, whether a group is a
terrorist group per se is not as relevant to the analyses as the political designation of such a group
and the consequences that this encompasses for humanitarian space.

Counter-terrorism Measures after 9/11


According to Human Rights Watch (2012) in the 11 years following 9/11 more than 140
countries passed or revised their counterterrorism laws (p. 5). A key element in the application of
these legislations is the process by which a group is designated as a terrorist group.
Dening international terrorism (the international public enemy) is an eminently political task
(Friedrichs, 2006). Its most concrete version, listing an organization as terrorist, is therefore
21
more a matter of political standpoint than empirical evidence . The process by which groups are
designated as terrorist varies greatly among states and even within a state among different
22
agencies , and it has been suggested that in most cases there is a lack of due process in the
designation (Human Rights Watch, 2012, p. 30). Listing a group as terrorist usually results in
its proscription, assets freezing, and the blockade of its commercial activities. Members of the
organization might be criminally prosecuted, even if they did not act in support of unlawful
activities (Human Rights Watch, 2012, p. 34).

their violence, terrorists seek to obtain the leverage , inuence and power they otherwise lack to effect
political change on either a local or international scale (Hoffman, 2006, p. 40).
20 However, this denition does not include attacks to property or facilities, which in many cases would

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be considered acts of terrorism. It also excludes the concepts of state terrorism and war terrorism.
21 As an example, Hezbollah has been designated as a terrorist organization by the US, Canada, Israel,

Australia and the UK, but not by France, the European Union, Russia and the Arab countries.
22 The US Department of State has listed 59 groups as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), whereas

the US Department of the Treasurys list includes hundreds of individuals and groups as Specially
Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs).

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Multilateral Legal and Political Framework


In 1999, the UN Security Council (UNSC) passed Resolution 1267, under Chapter VII of the
Charter, requiring all UN member states to freeze the nancial assets of individuals and
organizations designated by a sanctions committee, as well as to prevent the entry in their
countries of such individuals (Moirzadeh, Lewis, & Bruderlein, 2011, p. 629). This was a
sanctions regime targeted at members of the Taliban, and later, of Al Qaeda (HPCR, 2011).
Resolution 1267 was a precursor to UNSC Resolution 1373, which two weeks after the 9/11
attacks set the basis of a legal framework in which specic measures must be taken by states
against terrorism. The resolution requires all UN member states to refrain from providing any
form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, as well as to
prohibit their nationals and individuals in their territories from providing such support. It further
obliges all UN member states to criminalize support of or participation in terrorist acts
(Modirzadeh et al., 2011, p. 637). Although this resolution falls under the terms of enforcement
measures by the UNSC under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, it does not contemplate the use of
force. Rather, it creates a wide range of measures, being the formation of a standing committee
(to monitor implementation) and cooperation between states the center-piece (Beyani, 2003, p.
16).
In addition to the international legal framework established in multilateral treaties (the
aforementioned 13 international conventions) and resolutions of the UNSC, international policy
initiatives have inuenced the development of national counter-terrorism measures as well.
These include the global Counterterrorism Forum (launched in 2011 with 29 member states and
the EU), the G8s Counter-Terrorism Action Group (CTAG) and the Financial Action Task
Force (FATF). FATF has proven to be particularly inuential (Mackintosh & Duplat, 2013, p.
19). Being an informal group launched in 1989 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation
and Development (OCDE) to combat money-laundering, after 9/11 FATFs scope of action was
expanded to address terrorist nancing. It has been argued that the groups focus on non-prot
organizations has encouraged over-regulation of the sector (Mackintosh & Duplat, 2013, p. 19).

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In implementing the above mentioned international requirements, some governments have
criminalized the provision of support, services and/or assistance to individuals or groups
involved in terrorist acts, and the association with them. The exact content of the offenses vary
greatly among states. In general, the provisions are broadly worded and therefore they can be

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interpreted to include any humanitarian venture involving contact with individuals or


organizations associated with terrorism (ICRC, 2011, p. 51).

Material Support
Providing material support for terrorism is a criminal act under many counterterrorism laws. It
has been noted that such provisions can be abusive when combined with broad denitions, both
of terrorism and of material support itself (Human Rights Watch, p. 38). Many of those laws do
not require knowledge nor intent that the support could lead to a terrorist attack (Human Rights
Watch, 2012, p. 38). In addition, a number of human rights and humanitarian organizations, as
well as legal academic experts, have expressed their concern regarding lack of due process for
material support suspects in most countries (OMB Watch and Grantmakers without Borders,
2008; Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conict Research, 2011; Human Rights
Watch, 2012).
In US federal criminal laws material support has been dened in a very comprehensive manner,
comprising the provision of nancial services, currency, lodging, and transportation. After the
9/11 attacks, the USA PATRIOT Act and the US Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention
Act expanded those laws to prohibit the provision of expert advice or assistance, personnel,
service, and training to designated terrorist organizations (Human Rights Watch, 2012, p. 38).

The only exceptions to the prohibition pertain to the provision of medicine (not including
23
treatment or training, but only the medicine itself) and religious materials . Some organizations
have complained that since 2001, the Treasurys Ofce of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and
the Justice Department have expanded their interpretation of material support above and
beyond transfers of funds or goods to cover legitimate charitable aid that may otherwise
cultivate support for a designated organization (OMB Watch & Grantmakers without Borders,
2008, p. 4).
The US exercises jurisdiction over any individual (regardless of the nationality), who violates the

statute (as long as the person is in US territory, even if the act was committed abroad). This

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means that the personnel of a non-US organization composed entirely by non-US staff, that does

23This provision is more limited than the exemption in a previous version of the statute, which exempted
humanitarian assistance to persons not directly involved in such violations (Modirzadeh, Lewis &
Bruderlein, 2011, p. 629).

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not operate in the US, could be subject to US criminal jurisdiction if they nd themselves in the
US (Modirzadeh et al., 2011, p. 630). It is important to note that the material support statute was
amended in 2005 so that the Secretary of State and Attorney General can permit aid in cases of
training, personnel, and expert advice or assistance, only if the Secretary determines that it
24
cannot be used for terrorism (Margon, 2011, p. 13) .

The Fungibility Argument


There is agreement about the fact that some advantage to the party in whose territory
humanitarian organizations work is inevitable (Pantuliano et al., 2011, p. 6). Acceptance of
humanitarian workers is often motivated by an expectation of economic or political gain for the
parties involved, seeing an opportunity to either boost the local economy or their own prestige,
or to provide social services to communities under their control (Delaunay, Romero, & Vonckx,
2014). But provided that this does not have signicant consequences on the efforts of one side,
the humanitarian imperative prevails and humanitarian action is allowed. However, behind
material support legislation lays the argument that resources from humanitarian organizations

are fungible. From this perspective, any resources could free up the terrorist groups resources
for illicit activities and assist in lending legitimacy to foreign terrorist groups (which makes it
easier for them to persist, to recruit members, and to raise funds) (Roberts, 2010). The Supreme
Court adopted this argument in its Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project (HLP) decision.
Manipulation of aid is not new, and is part of a war tactic that States have repeatedly used
(Delaunay et al., 2014). Nonetheless, it has been argued that the support of the war effort by
humanitarian assistance is generally marginal in light of the resources derived from the
belligerents involvement in the global economy, including funds raised from diaspora networks,
political support, earnings from legal and illegal trade, etc (Weissman, 2010). The failure of
counter-insurgency strategies based on use of humanitarian aid to win hearts and minds in

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24It is worthrepresentative
republican mentioning that there wasSmith,
Christopher an attempt in 2013
endeavor thattowas
modify material
prompted support
by the laws intothe
difculties US by
providing
assistance during the 2011 famine in Somalia. This new law would have modied existing material
support laws to allow humanitarian organizations to engage with terrorist groups for humanitarian
purposes. However, the law was never enacted (H.R. 3526 [113th]: Humanitarian Assistance Facilitation
Act of 2013, 2013).

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Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan is a perfect example of the limited impact on the course of the
war of the co-option of aid organizations (Weissman, 2010).

Sanctions
In the US, sanctions are mainly ruled by Executive Order 13224 (EO 13224) issued on 23
September 2001 and administrated by the Department of the Treasurys Ofce of Foreign Assets
Control (OFAC). This order allows government authorities to designate and block the assets of
individuals and entities that assist in, sponsor, or provide nancial, material, or technological
support for . . . or other services to or in support of designated individuals or terrorist groups, or
that are otherwise associated with them. Once a group is included in the Specially Designated
25
Nationals (SDN) list , their assets are blocked and U.S. citizens are prohibited from any
transactions with listed entities or individuals unless they apply for a license (Margon, 2011, p.
5). Whereas any transaction occurring in a listed State Sponsor of Terrorism requires a license,
the requirement for working in an area where FTOs and SDNs are located is less clear because
the license is not always necessary. In addition, these licenses do not exempt organizations from
criminal concerns relating to the Patriot Acts material support statute (Margon, 2011, p. 7).
In the EU, the Council Common Position (adopted in December 2001) ordered the block of
assets and the prevention of resources facilitated to persons, groups and entities involved in
terrorist acts. EU regulations are directly applicable in all EU Member States (Mackintosh &
Duplat, 2013, p. 44).
Penalties for violation of sanctions provisions are predominantly lower than for the crime of
material support. Some states provide an alternative type of exemption by means of special
licenses. However, these licenses do not provide legal immunity from prosecution under material
support laws (Mackintosh & Duplat, 2013, p. 27).

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25 In the US, the Department of State administers a list of terrorist groups known as the Foreign Terrorist
Organization (FTO). All listed FTOs are also classied as Specially Designated Nationals.

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26
Donor Policies
Funding from donor governments is progressively being made conditional on guarantees that it is
not serving listed organizations or individuals, and that security checks are being placed on local
actors and implementing partners (Pantuliano et al., 2011, p. 1). The major secular US NGOs are
27
highly dependent on US government funding . For European organizations the situation is quite
different as a consequence of a more balanced private-to-public funding ratio and the capacity to
choose among government funding sources by virtue of the European economic integration
(Stoddard, 2003).
While some donors have a dont ask, dont tell policy (Pantuliano et al., 2011, p. 6), others
have introduced clauses in their funding agreements and implemented vetting systems. All
organizations applying for grants from the United States Agency for International Development
(USAID) are required to certify that they have not provided (within ten years) and will not
provide material support individuals or groups included in a variety of lists that they must check
(Modirzadeh et al., 2011, p. 236). In addition, in 2007 USAID implemented the Partner Vetting
System (PVS), requiring US-funded NGOs to provide personal information on staff for the
purpose of vetting (Margon, 2011, p. 8). The State (including USAID) and Defense Departments
merge information on their contractors into a single database: the Pentagons Synchronized Pre-
deployment and Operational Tracker (SPOT). This includes personnel hired under grants,
28
subgrants, and cooperative agreements with partner organizations (Margon, 2011, p. 10).

Humanitarian Space, the GWOT and Gaza


The concept of the GWOT offers a frame to understand how humanitarian space is created in any
situation where a listed terrorist group is present and where humanitarian operations are taking
place. It is through the lens of the GWOT that it is possible to understand how one essential actor

26 For a complete analyses of each donor, see Mackintosh, K. & Duplat, P. (2013). Study of the Impact of
Donor Counter-Terrorism Measures on Principled Humanitarian Action. Retrieved November 12, 2015,
from https://docs.unocha.org/sites/dms/Documents/CT_Study_Full_Report.pdf.
27 CARE and Save the Children US receive about half of their funding from the US government and more

than 70% of the International Rescue Committees funding is provided by public sources (Stoddard,
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2003, p. 29).
28 The provision of such information is highly problematic for humanitarian organizations. in terms of

costs, administrative burdens, perception by the local communities and humanitarian principles. This
issues, together with the consequences of counter-terrorism measures on humanitarian action, is
developed in Annex 1.

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in creating humanitarian space, the State, interprets these specic contexts, their role and the role
of other actors (being humanitarian INGOs of special relevance in the context of this
dissertation). Humanitarian INGOs, on the other hand, have to adapt and respond to this reality,
especially when it is translated in counter-terrorism laws and measures that affect their
29
operations, such as the ones explained above . The reaction of humanitarian INGOs also
denotes the interpretation that they make of the context itself, of their own role and that of other
actors (in the case of the analyzes offered in this dissertation, the States).
In Gaza, where Hamas has been exercising control since 2007 after defeating Fatah (both in the
legislative elections of 2006 and later in the Battle of Gaza), the dilemma of providing
humanitarian relief while abiding by counter-terrorism laws and donors policies is at its highest.
Hamas has been designated a terrorist group by key donors, such as the United States, the
European Union, Japan and Canada. Since restrictive donor policies have been put in place since
September 11 with regards to providing support to designated terrorist organizations, and in
addition, some donors have included specic clauses in their agreements with humanitarian
organizations preventing them from communicating with Hamas, humanitarian organizations
face outstanding challenges to operate in the Strip. Furthermore, the enactment of laws
criminalizing material support to terrorist organizations in several countries mean that
engaging Hamas, even for humanitarian purposes, could be considered a criminal act.
On the other hand, Israel has imposed a blockade on Gaza since 2007. This blockade not only
has deteriorated severely the capacity of the population to meet their basic needs, but has also
been jeopardizing the efforts of humanitarian organizations to provide assistance (Gaza
Blockade: no Signs of Loosening, 2014).
But what sets Hamas situation apart from other similar scenarios, is that it is not only in control
of the territory in Gaza but it is also the elected government, which encompasses a certain level
of legitimacy among the population of Gaza, therefore increasing its importance as a key
interlocutor for humanitarian operations.

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29 For a brief explanation of how counter-terrorism affects humanitarian action, see Annex I.

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CHAPTER II: DISCUSSION

Governments Interpretation of the Context in Gaza and the Creation of Humanitarian


Space
By 2003, Hamas was already listed as a terrorist organization and subject to sanctions by a
30
number of States who are also signicant humanitarian donors such as Canada, the EU, Japan,
Australia and the US (Mackintosh & Duplat, 2013, p. 87). In the case of Israel, it does not only
consider Hamas a terrorist group but (since 2007) it has also declared the whole Gaza Strip a
hostile entity31 32
(Bhungalia, 2010, p. 350) .
Hamas sociopolitical movement is based on grassroots mobilization (Herrick, 2010, p. 174).
Acknowledging this is paramount to understanding the organization's legitimacy and inuence.
As Michael I. Jensen explains, Hamas ideology corresponds to that of moderate islamists that
strive for the creation of an Islamic state by means of a political strategy based on a process of

islamization at the grassroots level (Jensen, 2009, p. 5). Created as a branch of Egypts Muslim
Brotherhood in 1945, Hamas adopted their policy of grassroots mobilization, taking part in the
development and administration of numerous social services in Gaza, such as hospitals, schools,
33
sports clubs and homes for the elderly. Hamas dawah is a replacement for the social welfare
system of the state (Herrick, 2010, p. 172). It has been estimated that 90% of the funds collected
by Hamas around the world is used to cover welfare services for Palestinians, the remaining 10%
being spent on armed resistance (Benthall, 2003, p. 45).
Governments ghting terrorism, and particularly the US and its allies, are very familiar with this
strategy of winning hearts and minds for political and military purposes. It was this clear
understanding of how Hamas built its constituency that led to targeting the welfare system in
Gaza, and not limiting the ght against Hamas to the military sphere. In the words of Lisa

30 However, Hamas is not subject to a specic UN sanction.


31 Hamas was rst designated an unlawful organization in 1989 (Mackintosh & Duplat, 2013, p. 89).
32 Hamas was declared a terrorist organization by Egypt in March 2014 (Hamas is seen as an offshoot of

the also terrorist Muslim Brotherhood). However, this decision was overturn by an Egyptian appeals
court in June 2015 (Egypt court annuls ruling that Hamas is terrorist group, 2015).
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33Da'wah is an Arabic word meaning call, and it refers to a call to return to god and the practice of
religion. In its contemporary version, dawah has become the foundation for social, economic, political,
and cultural activities as well as domestic and foreign policy strategies; justication for breaking away
from the secular and colonial West; legitimation for claims to independent authority within the nation-
state; and a call to membership in the righteous Islamic community (Esposito, 2003).

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Bhungalia (2010) Hamas was identied as the target, and the strategy designed to reach it, a
steady engineering of social crisis (p. 353).
Since Hamas defeated Fatah in 2007, Israel has put Gaza under siege with the goal of isolating
and weakening Hamas. Israel has blocked Gaza from the sea, and the crossing points from both
Israel and Egypt have either been closed or severely restricted to trafc (Byman, 2010, p. 50). It
has been estimated that as a consequence, 35% of Gazas farmland and 85% of its shing waters
are totally or partially inaccessible (OCHA, 2012). In addition, Egypt has destroyed around
1,200 tunnels that were used to smuggle a number of items into the strip (Egypt court bans
Palestinian Hamas Group, 2014). In support of this strategy, the US and many other countries
enforced a prohibition to engage Hamas in aid operations through laws and donor restrictions
(Mackintosh & Duplat, 2013).
Needless to mention, the mere fact of listing Hamas as a terrorist organization makes it subject to
the material support laws described in Chapter I (Material Support). But in addition to this,
claiming the need to support the peace process and the two-state solution to the Israeli-
Palestinian conict, many governments instituted a no-contact policy. In particular, the US
Palestinian Anti-Terrorist Act of 2006 states that no ofcer or employee of the US Government
shall negotiate or have substantive contacts with members or ofcial representatives of Hamas

() or any other Palestinian terrorist organization, until such organization: (1) recognizes Israel's
right to exist; (2) renounces the use of terrorism; (3) dismantles the infrastructure necessary to
carry out terrorist acts (); and (4) recognizes and accepts all previous Israel-PLO agreements
and understandings (Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006, section 10). In addition, the text of
the law urges other international actors to avoid contact with and refrain from nancially
34
supporting the terrorist organization Hamas. Concomitantly, many Quartet states introduced
similar directives at the level of government ofcials (Mackintosh & Duplat, 2013, p. 90).
But the no-contact policy did not remain in the sphere of government relations. In April 2006
USAID passed a Mission Notice regulating contact between the Palestinian Authority and

USAID contractors and grantees (USAID Notice No. 2006-WBG-17, 2006). Since 2009 the UK
has also directed its humanitarian implementing partners that contact with Hamas should only
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happen at a technical and lowest possible level (Mackintosh & Duplat, 2013, p. 90). Other

34 Quartet designates the group of the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and
Russia.

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Quartet states (although maintaining no-contact policies at political level as mentioned above) do
not pass this instruction on to organizations in receipt of their funding (Mackintosh & Duplat,
2013, p. 90). However, often times the reach of these restrictions are not clear for humanitarian
35
organizations, therefore having a broad impact in their operations .
NGOs in particular have often been seen with suspicion by governments, either as a weak link
that can be exploited by terrorist groups or as covers used by such groups to collect funds. The
words of former US president G. W. Bush are quiet illustrative of this belief: Just to show you
how insidious these terrorists are, they oftentimes use nice-sounding, non-governmental
36
organizations as fronts for their activities. We have targeted three such NGOs . We intend to
deal with them () (President Freezes Terrorists Assets, 2001). Another example of this, is
37
the additional 8m in funding provided to the UKs Charity Commission to "re-focus its
regulatory activity on proactive monitoring and enforcement in the highest risk areas like abuse
of charities for terrorist and other criminal purposes (Charities funding crime and terror face
new crackdown, 2014).
In the specic case of Hamas, a document from the US Department of the Treasury states that
Hamas uses charities as a cover to raise tens of millions of dollars every year, and that even if
this funds are used for legitimate charitable work, the assistance itself is a means to recruit
militants (Protecting Charitable Organizations: Complete List of Designations, n.d.). It also
38
lists seven NGOs as Specially Designated Terrorists (STDs) due to alleged ties to Hamas . Of
particular importance among these, is the case of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF, discussed in
Annex 1), in which trial the US government argued that by supporting schools, charities,

35See Annex I, The Chilling Effect.


36These organizations were Al Rashid Trust (according to the US Department of the Treasury had been
raising funds for the Taliban since 1999), Al-Itihaad al-Islamiyya (a Somali terrorist group) and Wafa
Humanitarian Organization (a key Saudi charity and Pakistan-based organization nancing Al Qaida).
Additional Background Information on Charities Designated Under Executive Order 13224. (2009). In
US Department of the Treasury. Retrieved July 1, 2015, from http://www.treasury.gov/resource-
center/terrorist-illicit-nance/Pages/protecting-charities_execorder_13224-p.aspx
37 The Charity Commission is the agency of the UK mandated to register and regulate charities in

England and Wales, to ensure that the public can support charities with condence (Charity
Commission, n. d.).
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38The listed NGOs are l s o nd tion ssoci tion de eco rs lestinien ommit de
Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, Interpal
(Palestinian Relief & Development Fund), Palestinian Association in Austria (PVOE) and Sanabil
Association for Relief and Development (Protecting Charitable Organizations: Complete List of
Designations, n.d.).

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hospitals, and other Islamic social welfare organizations, the HLF was spreading Hamas
ideology (Roy, 2011, p. 98). The connection between targeting NGOs in the strategy of
combating Hamas through its welfare system is beyond discussion.
Despite the enforced siege of the Strip, to which Israel refers in its ofcial documents as a
restricted civil polic vis- -vis the Gaza Strip (Coordinator of Government Activities in the

Territories, Ministry of Defense of Israel, 2013), that is putting tremendous economic pressure to
Hamas, international and local NGOs are still allowed to run social services and enough supplies
are let in as to prevent mass starvation (Byman, 2011, p.364). Summed up by an advisor to

former Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, the idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to
make them die of hunger (Gaza on brink of implosion as aid cut-off starts to bite, 2006). The
relationship between Gaza and Israel has been framed by the latter as that of enemy states, rather
39
than occupied-occupier (Bhungalia, 2010, p. 351). In fact, in an ofcial report about the
blockade, Israel emphasizes that it disengaged from the Gaza Strip on 2005, and that the
blockade is a natural result of Israels protection responsibility towards its citizens (Coordinator
of Government Activities in the Territories, Ministry of Defense of Israel, 2013, p. 3). It does
not, of course, refer to its obligations towards the people of Gaza; provision of goods becomes an
issue of political will rather the obligation of an occupying power (Darcy & Reynolds, 2010, p.
242). Furthermore, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has an entire section of their website to
attest to the humanitarian aid provided by Israel (Humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people",
n.d.). The narrative of humanitarian needs in opposition to humanitarian obligations is evident,
and what is a political and legal problem regarding the rights of the people in Gaza becomes
merely a humanitarian affair. Herrick (2010) has eloquently named this strategy as a dual
dynamic of charity and rockets (p. 190).
In the case of the Gaza Strip, governments have used the frame of the GWOT to interpret their
ght against Hamas. In this sense, counter-terrorism measures have been applied to a great

39 However polemic the determination of whether and on which grounds International Humanitarian Law

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is applicable to the Gaza Strip, it is worth mentioning that the International Criminal Court has declared
that while Israel maintains that it is no longer occupying Gaza, the prevalent view within the
international community is that Israel remains an occupying power under international law, based on the
scope and degree of control that it has retained over the territory of Gaza following the 2005
disengagement (International Criminal Court, 2014, p. 6).

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40
extent and the blockade imposed by Israel has received wide support from other States, either
explicitly or implicitly. Although counter-terrorism measures and the Israeli blockade over Gaza
are often seen as two differentiable realities, in the Strip they operate as links of the same chain.
They are weapons used in the same war, a global war not only in its geographical reach but also
41
in the means permitted to ght it . In this regard, even though it has been argued that both the
blockade and counter-terrorism measures impeding principled humanitarian action are contrary
to IHL (How can Israels blockade of Gaza be legal? UN independent experts on the Palmer
Report, 2011; Modirzadeh, Lewis & Bruderlein, 2011), the discourse of the GWOT and the

perception of a growing threat have so far been stronger than legal arguments and therefore these
policies remain in place. In the era of the GWOT, the protection of the State prevails over the
protection of the individual (Whitall, 2009, p. 45).
As discussed above, the strategy chosen to ght Hamas is based on targeting its role as a public
service provider and as the legitimate authority responsible for the wellbeing of the inhabitants of
Gaza. Humanitarian action ts into this scheme as a plaster for the political wounds of
occupation (Whittall, 2009, p. 41). What is in fact a political problem is disguised as a
humanitarian crises; humanitarian action allows Gaza to continue breathing, but not to stand on
its own feet. The limits imposed to humanitarian aid by governments involved in the GWOT
create a minimal space for assistance directed to the most basic needs, but impedes a transition to
development aid (Mackintosh & Duplat, 2013, p. 96).

Humanitarian INGOs Interpretation of the Context in Gaza and the Creation of


Humanitarian Space
As stated in the introduction (Methodology), of the 69 organizations working in Gaza listed by
OCHA (2014), only 28 of them can be qualied as humanitarian INGOs. These organizations
are everything but homogeneous. Therefore, it is extremely challenging to group their visions
under the umbrella of humanitarian INGOs, especially given the fact that most of them do not

40 For example, USAID programs in Gaza are one of their most rigorously vetted in the world (Zanotti,
2009, p. 4). Also, a substantial number of material law prosecutions to NGOs in the US is of

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organizations allegedly supporting Hamas (Adelsberg, Pitts & Shebaya, 2012-2013, p. 289).
41 Interestingly enough, a number of papers have been published in the last couple of years analyzing how

counter-terrorism laws and measures affect humanitarian action, using Gaza as the most indisputable
example. On the other hand, humanitarian INGOs have focused their public advocacy towards the
consequences of the blockade. However, in Gaza both are part of the same strategy.

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have clear public statements about the topic and that when contacted for information many
organizations state that due to scarce resources, they are unable to take the time to elaborate on
these issues. However, it is possible to discuss their position as a sector building upon joint
statements and common elements in their public declarations.
In general, public statements from INGOs are predominantly made in reference to the
humanitarian needs for assistance in the Gaza Strip, and their operations to respond to these
42
needs. However, there are also some references to the needs for protection , not only in terms of
IHL (both regarding the situation of occupation and armed attacks) but also, although to a lesser

extent, to human rights. For instance, a joint statement from February 2015 calls for respect of
IHL and human rights law as prerequisites for any lasting peace (Joint Statement: 30
International Aid Agencies: We must not fail in Gaza, 2015). But examples of this type of
statements are very few and INGOs rarely elaborate further about specic obligations of each
party in terms of protection.
In the context of the GWOT, it should come as no surprise that most INGOs do not make
reference to Hamas in their public statements, despite their position as the government of Gaza.
43
Among the 28 organizations individually analyzed, only 7 have public statements that reect
44
their position towards Hamas. Among these, 3 of them consider it as a terrorist organization ,
45
whereas the other 4 refer to Hamas as the (de facto) government . Avoiding mentioning Hamas
in public statements can be understood as a measure to avoid the scrutiny of donor governments
since, although only the UK and the US have a policy of no-contact with Hamas that is applied
to their humanitarian partners, many humanitarian workers believe that contact with Hamas
ofcials is prohibited (Mackintosh & Duplat, 2013). Additionally, research conducted by Darcy
and Reynolds has shown that often times a policy of dont ask, dont tell is permitted (2010, p.
6), hence the need to refrain from publicly acknowledging any type of connections with Hamas.

42 Protection is here understood as the set of actions aimed to safeguard the human rights of vulnerable
persons, acknowledging human beings in their fullness, and not only focusing in their physical needs.
This encompasses a concern for a persons safety, dignity and integrity as a human being (Slim &
Bonwick, 2005).

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43 These organizations are the American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), Global Communities (former
CHF International), Islamic Relief, Mdecins Sans Frontires (MSF), Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), the
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and Premiere Urgence - Aide Medicale Internationale (PU-AMI).
44 These organizations are the ANERA, Global Communities and Islamic Relief.

45 These organizations are MSF, NCA and NRC.

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On the other hand, not making references to Hamas could also be seen as a strategy to evade
confrontations from the public (both in Gaza and abroad) or Hamas itself, considering that in
such a contested situation, it is extremely difcult to be seen as neutral.
Perhaps one of the most uncontroversial aspects of the topic being analyzed is the role of the
siege in Gaza. All organizations recognize the connection between the blockade and the
humanitarian needs in Gaza, and almost unanimously this is identied as the main cause of the
constant need for humanitarian assistance. In June 2012, on the fth anniversary of the
46
tightening of the blockade on the Gaza Strip, 43 INGOs (and 7 UN agencies) co-signed a press
release in which they called for an end of the blockade that [violates] international law
(International Pressure Mounts Over Gaza Blockade, 2012). Later on, in February 2015, 30
47
INGOs and UN agencies released a statement afrming that over seven years of blockade
[have] severely compromised access to basic services, including to health, water and sanitation
and calling for Israel to lift the blockade as the main duty bearer (Joint Statement: 30
International Aid Agencies: We must not fail in Gaza, 2015). This was also one of the ndings
of the research conducted by Mackintosh and Duplat (based on interviews with humanitarian
workers). However, these researchers make a distinction between the blockade and counter-
terrorism measures, pointing out that the former is responsible for the humanitarian situation and
the latter the primary obstacle to humanitarian action (2013, p. 94). Nonetheless, the
information reviewed does not entirely support this argument: most humanitarian INGOs
indicate that the blockade is itself a major impediment to provide humanitarian assistance in the
Gaza Strip, and not only the cause of the humanitarian situation. One humanitarian INGO (that
requested its name not to be mentioned) contacted for this research went as far as to state that
the greatest challenge to implementing aid programs in Gaza is to be able to get materials and

46 Among these INGOs, 17 are organizations being analyzed in this research: Action Contre la Faim,
DanChurchAid, Gruppo di Volontariato Civile (GVC), Handicap International, Help Age International,
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), Mdecins du Monde (France and Spain), Medical Aid
for Palestinians (MAP), Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA), Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), Norwegian
Refugee Council (NRC), Oxfam, Premire Urgence - Aide Mdicale Internationale, Save the Children,

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Islamic
47Among Relief
them,(France) and War
12 are INGOs Child. in this study: DanChurchAid, Handicap International, Help
considered
Age International, Mdecins du Monde, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), Norwegian Peoples Aid
(NPA), Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Oxfam, Premire Urgence -
Aide Mdicale Internationale, Save the Children, Islamic Relief (France) and World Vision.

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supplies into the Gaza Strip; this is due to the amount of time needed for coordination, obtaining
permits, etcetera.
Of course, the fact that there is little public information regarding the interpretation of the
context in Gaza and that many organizations refuse to provide information or be quoted is telling
by itself. In this highly politicized situation, humanitarian organizations may opt to refrain from
positioning themselves in order to avoid attracting the attention from governments that may
48
oppose their views and jeopardize their operations . This risk has also led organizations to
concentrate their efforts in assistance and not in protection, since the latter is built on the human
rights and IHL discourse, and is therefore seen as more controversial (Whittall, 2009, p. 48).
However, there have been recent endeavors to overcome this situation by joining efforts. Besides
the above mentioned joint statements, two clear examples of these efforts are the 2013 research
Impact of Donor Counter-Terrorism Measures on Principled Humanitarian Action conducted

by Kate Mackintosh and Patrick Duplat, that was commissioned by OCHA and the NRC, but
received wide support from humanitarian NGOs (Mackintosh & Duplat, 2013), and a recent joint
statement entitled Charting a New Course of April 2015.
This report, published six months after Israels Operation Protective Edge and the subsequent
donors conference (Cairo Conference), was initiated by the Association of International
Development Agencies (AIDA) and then joint by other regional networks. It deserves especial
attention since it is a milestone in terms of public positioning of humanitarian INGOs in the
49
context of Gaza. In total, 46 INGOs signed the nal document, calling for all stakeholders
(including Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and the international community) to fulll
50
their different obligations towards the enjoyment of human rights by the people of Gaza .
The statement addresses a series of problems and issues recommendations. First, to make parties
accountable in terms of IHL and resume negotiations to end the cycle of violence (AIDA,

48 This is especially relevant for organizations that receive funds from donors with restrictive counter-
terrorism policies and/or are headquartered in countries that prosecute material support.
49 Among these INGOs, 15 are organizations studied in this research: DanChurchAid, Gruppo di

Voluntarist Civile (GVC), Handicap International, Help Age International, Mdecins du Monde (France,
Switzerland and Spain), Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA),

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NorwegianInternationale,
Mdicale Church Aid (NCA),
Save theNorwegian Refugee
Children and Council
Islamic Relief(NRC), Oxfam, Premire Urgence - Aide
(France).
50 It is important to mention that the report refers to both humanitarian and development aid, often without

any distinction. This should be understood in the context of early recovery efforts that are taking place in
Gaza.

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2015, p. 3). Secondly, it calls for all parties, specically mentioning donors and Egypt, to
51
commit to principled assistance, reconstruction and recovery . Last, there is an appeal for
Israel to lift the blockade in accordance with its obligations as an occupying power and for the
international community to agree to a common response should Israel not be willing to
proceed in this direction (AIDA, 2015, p. 4).
The report refers to Hamas as the de facto authority in Gaza (AIDA, 2015, p. 6), an
acknowledgment of the fact that they are in control of the territory and its population that does
not take a political stance with regards to its legitimacy. Furthermore, the statement declares that
restrictions imposed by some States (both to their ofcials and aid organizations) on engagement
jeopardize humanitarian access and implementation of programs, as well as advocacy towards
respect for IHL, and that the establishment of the Palestinian Government of National Consensus
52
(GNC) is an opportunity to overcome this situation (AIDA, 2015, p. 22).
Regarding the blockade, the report states that it constitutes collective punishment; it is imposed
in violation of IHL and, according to the UN, may entail the commission of war crimes (AIDA,
2015, p. 8). Furthermore, it argues that third states, such as Egypt, also have obligations in terms
of IHL, specically to [allow] free passage for and protection of humanitarian relief (AIDA,
2015, p. 8).
Finally, it is extremely important to note that this joint statement points out that framing the
situation of Gaza as a humanitarian crisis can be misleading. By explaining this crisis in terms of
humanitarian needs only, its political nature is often neglected. Before the separation policy
implemented by Israel, the report argues, only 10% of the population was unemployed (now the
number has risen to 45%, and 63% of the youth). It is to a great extent due to the separation
policy that 80% of Gaza is now aid dependent (AIDA, 2015, p. 9). Therefore, it is necessary to
move forward from understanding Gaza as a never-ending humanitarian emergency, to focus on
the political dynamics behind the unmet needs.
Although statements like this are not common, according to the information reviewed there

seems to be a trend for INGOs to be more outspoken than in the past about certain aspects of the
problem. Clearly, denouncing the blockade is one of them, and the violation of IHL and

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51 However, it is not clear in the text what principles exactly must be taken into account.
52 The GNC is unity government established in June 2014 between members of Hamas and Fatah

(Palestinians form Consensus Government, 2014).

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international human rights is apparently following the same direction. But, on the other hand,

counter-terrorism as such (donors policies, material support laws and sanctions) are rarely

mentioned. The reasons behind this trend are beyond the scope of this dissertation, but they are
denitely a topic that should be researched further.
A traditional aim of humanitarian INGOs to be apolitical (translated in their public statements
regarding the situation in Gaza and among the organizations principles) has often led them to
disregard the very political nature of their activities in Gaza. Pressured by counter-terrorism laws
and policies and trying to portray themselves as neutral actors vis--vis their constituencies,

humanitarian INGOs have opted to avoid as much as possible any contact with Hamas (Mc Hugh
& Singh, 2013). Concomitantly, they have often leaned towards the provision of humanitarian
assistance in detriment of protection activities in order to avoid controversies (Whittall, 2009, p.
44). What they fail to acknowledge is that by operating in this manner, they are inadvertently
being part of the strategy to defeat Hamas.
With an economy wrecked by years of blockade, the Gaza Strip has been forced to become
highly dependent on foreign assistance. Although most humanitarian INGOs aspire to refrain
53
from taking sides in the conict , there is nothing neutral about competing with Hamas in their
duty to deliver social services for the population in Gaza, and that is the unfortunate role that
these organizations have in the Strip. Humanitarian action in the context of the GWOT has
54
become extremely instrumentalized in Gaza, and regrettably INGOs rarely acknowledge this .
The resulting humanitarian space in Gaza is therefore a space where the most widely recognized
humanitarian principles are infringed. Neutrality, the tenet that calls for humanitarians to refrain
from taking sides on a conict, is clearly hindered by the role played by humanitarian aid in the
strategy that governments have adopted to ght Hamas. Secondly, with regards to impartiality, a
core principle recognized by the Geneva Conventions of 1949, humanitarian INGOs must often
design their programs not based on need only, but based on governments restrictions, creating
inefciencies and gaps (Metcalfe-Hough, Keatinge & Pantuliano, 2015, p. 5). This happens for

53 Organizations that openly recognize Hamas as a terrorist organization could be excluded from this
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group.
54 A clear exemption to this is Caroline Abu-Sadas questioning of the role of MSF in Gaza (in an MSF

publication): () there is a danger of [humanitarian aid] being expected to assume [the role of] assistant
prison guard at the center of a pitiless system of domination and segregation (Abu-Sada, 2011).

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example when INGOs refuse so provide assistance to government run schools. Furthermore,
INGOs fail to observe the principle of independency, that is reected in the fourth point of the
Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in
55
Disaster Relief (1994) , by operating in a manner in which their assistance is clearly being
instrumentalized as part of the GWOT. Last but not least, the humanitarian mantra of do no
harm 56 is neglected as INGOs fail to acknowledge and react to the role that the aid they provide
has in the dynamic of the conict.

55 We shall endeavor not to act as instruments of government foreign policy.


56 The do no/less harm principle was rst developed by Mary B. Anderson in the 1990s. It calls for
humanitarian organizations to strive to do no harm or to minimize the harm they may be inadvertently
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doing simply by being present and providing assistance (). [This harm occurs] when, for example, aid
is used as an instrument of war (). To minimize possible longer term harm, humanitarian organizations
should provide assistance in ways that are supportive of recovery and long-term development (UNICEF,
2003).

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CONCLUSION

By adopting a concept of humanitarian space as a political arena, it was possible to analyze the
underlying elements that shape such a space in Gaza. The mere fact of distancing the denition
from the more classical concept of humanitarian space as agency space allows us to abandon
the defense of humanitarian agencies sphere of action, to observe critically the real outcomes of
humanitarian action.
In the same line, a somewhat innovative conceptual approach to the connection between counter-

terrorism measures and the blockade over Gaza acted as a cornerstone to understanding how the
GWOT inuences humanitarian space. As stated in Chapter II, counter-terrorism measures and
the blockade should not be seen as two separate realities. On the contrary, in the case of Gaza
both sets of policies have the same aspiration: the economic and political strangulation of a
terrorist group.

Counter-terrorism measures as they are today (that is to say, excluding exceptions for
humanitarian action) are a reection of how governments understand humanitarian organizations
and the context of humanitarian action itself: as instruments that could potentially be used by any
party to a conict to pursue their political goals. On the other hand, the response of these
organizations to these measures is also a reection of the organizations understanding of the
context and of the role of each actor. So long as there is no commitment to be critical about the
role that humanitarian action is asked to play in the context of the GWOT and to take measures
to overcome this situation, the very foundations on which humanitarian action rests could be
rendered debris.
The underlying debate is whether there are limits to the means and strategies used to wage war,
or not. In an afrmative response lies the essence of the widely endorsed Geneva Conventions of
1949 and their additional protocols. But by applying the narrative of terrorism in the case of
Gaza and beyond, States seem to be justifying the use of any means, irrespective of IHL and

IHRL. Whether humanitarian action will be safeguarded from being an instrument of the GWOT
or not is a question still to be answered.

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Retrieved on July 17, 2015, from

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Annex I: Consequences of Counter-Terrorism Measures for Humanitarian Action

Even if almost none of the literature reviewed for this research makes explicit reference to the
concept of humanitarian space, it can be inferred that most of it refers to the consequences of
counter-terrorism in humanitarian agency space.
A review of academic papers reveled that many of the authors are (or were) practitioners
involved humanitarian operations. Much of the literature has also been produced by (or in
partnership with) humanitarian organizations. Regarding the topics covered, academic and non-

academic literature regarding the legal aspect of counter-terrorism abounds (for example, from
the perspective of human rights).
Although the policies analyzed have mostly been produced shortly after the 9/11 attack, this
topic was most studied between 2010 and 2013, having a clear pick in 2011. A few events may
help to understand this fact. Among them, the trial against the Holy Land Foundation (2004-
2009), the Holder vs Humanitarian Law Project (HLP) (2010) and the famine that stroke Al-
Shabaab controlled Somalia (2011).

The Holy Land Foundation and Holder vs HLP Cases


Two cases are often cited and having had a great impact among humanitarian organizations.
Those are the cases against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) and
HLP.
David Boim, a dual citizen of the United States and Israel, was shot dead in Israel, allegedly by
Hamas gunmen. His parents led a law suit against the charity organization HLF (among others)
whom they accused of having provided support to Hamas. The material support at stake was
57
provision of funds to Zakat committees in the West Bank and Gaza-organizations.

57 Zakat is a form of alms or charity which constitutes one of the core ve pillars of Islam and is
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therefore a religious obligation for all observant Muslims.

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While the committees themselves were not designated terrorist organizations, evidence at trial
58
(December 2008) linked HLF to Hamas and its leadership . Ultimately, the jury found the
defendants guilty of violating the material support statute (Adelsberg et al. 2012-2013, p. 291).
59
In Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project (HLP) , the US Supreme Court in 2010 rejected
arguments that post 9/11 provisions unconstitutionally violate rights of freedom of speech or
association. The court held that there was no requirement that the expert advice, services, or
training be intended to aid terrorist groups, simply that it must be provided in coordination with
a terrorist group (Human Rights Watch, 2012, p. 38). This made humanitarian organizations
60
fearful of operating in regions controlled by designated terrorist groups .
The HLP case was not a prosecution but a pre-enforcement challenge to the material support
statute (Mackintosh & Duplat, 2013, p. 41). Nonetheless, there have been prosecutions (relevant
to humanitarian agencies) under the statute and eight US-based charities have been designated by
the Treasury Department for providing support to designated terrorist organizations (Mackintosh
& Duplat, 2013, p. 41).

The Chilling Effect


Perhaps the most mentioned impact of counter-terrorism measures among humanitarian
organizations is the chilling effect, which occurs when organizations, faced with the risk of
criminal sanction or intimidated by increasingly strict administrative procedures required for
projects carried out in areas where listed groups are active, () decide to cut back on or halt
their projects before any action is taken against them (Modirzadeh et al., 2011, p. 642). Because
of this risk or fear, the statutes have had a greater impact on humanitarian organizations than the
reduced number of prosecutions suggest (Adelsberg et al., 2012-2013, p. 283) since they have
created a risk-averse business climate that discourage humanitarian aid in certain areas
(Delaunay et al., 2014).

58 The defense responded by presenting evidence that USAID and the ICRC had previously donated to
and worked with some of these same committees, and testimony of their unsuccessful efforts to obtain
information from the Treasury Department about which organizations were off-limits.
59 HLP was an NGO dedicated to advocating for the respect of IHL. In pursuit of this goal, they provided

trainings to non-state armed groups on this topic.


60 At the time, this was the case of famine-stricken Somalia controlled Al-Shabaab. In 2011 the US

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government issued specic guidelines on Somalia, but without changing the underlying legal rules.

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The chilling effect on humanitarian aid was evident, for example, in 2011, when U.S. aid
organizations were reluctant to provide humanitarian assistance to victims of famine in Somalia.
In August 2011, the U.S. Department of State announced that those U.S. aid groups would not be
prosecuted, but left unaddressed the broader set of concerns raised by humanitarian groups in
the United States (Aldersberg et al., 2012-2013, p. 283).

Administrative Burdens and Costs


Most of the literature reviewed points out similar detrimental consequences for humanitarian

organizations. One of such consequences are administrative burdens and related operating costs
(Pantuliano et al., 2011, p. 1) of complying with governmental donors requests, such as vetting
all personnel, reporting to different agencies and implementing voluntary guidelines (OMB
Watch & Grantmakers without Borders, 2008, p. 5). Great quantities of information need to be
gathered and overseen as some donors demand organizations to vet, not just their staff or the
staff of partner organizations, but of their partners partners too (Pantuliano et al., 2011, p. 8).
Signicant staff time and resources are spent for applying for exemptions, checking lists and
otherwise ensuring compliance (Pantuliano et al., 2011, p. 8). In the case that the organizations
assets are frozen, there are no timelines or processes for long-term disposition (OMB Watch &
Grantmakers without Borders, 2008, p. 5). Counter-terrorist legislation also impacts bank
transactions (Metcalfe-Hough, Keatinge, & Pantuliano, 2015, p. 24), insurance coverage, and
international trade (Delaunay et al., 2014).

Transparency and Coordination


It has been suggested that the lack of clarity on legislation and donor policy has led to decreased
transparency and accountability in settings where humanitarian organizations have to interact
with listed groups (Pantuliano et al., 2011, p. 8). Due to the risk of criminalization and potential
prosecution of staff, many organizations are reluctant to discuss particular concerns, develop
associated responses or share information (Pantuliano et al., 2011, p. 8). This reluctance is also
evident among donors, with many of them preferring not to discuss this issue openly, or
providing policy advice on non-headed paper (Pantuliano et al., 2011, p. 8).

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Different Organizations are Affected Differently


UN agencies (and to certain extent the ICRC) may rely on immunities and privileges. Long
standing humanitarian organizations may perceive a lower risk as a consequence of their
reputation and the scope of their operations. But for local implementing partners, the threat of
prosecution or disruption of funding is more tangible (HPCR, 2011, P. 36). In addition,
humanitarian organizations that rely on the principle of neutrality to access and operate may see
this principle undermined by counter-terrorism clauses imposed in donor contracts (Mackintosh,
2011). This does not affect to the same extent organizations that do not rely on governmental

funds. Muslim organizations have reportedly been disproportionally affected by counter-


terrorism policies (Aziz, 2011).

Partnerships
Counter-terrorism laws have had a negative effect on small charities working in certain areas.
First, in some regions any tie to a listed organization, for example by way of a relative of a
member, is enough to disqualify grassroots organizations as a potential target of funds. Second,
grassroots organizations in underdeveloped regions may not have the capability to meet onerous
reporting requirements imposed by donors (Adelsberg et al., 2012-2013, p. 296). As a
consequence, counter-terrorism measures have also prevented access and altered the quality and
coordination of assistance with local partners (Pantuliano et al., 2011, p. 1).

Consequences on Humanitarian Principles


Counter-terrorism clauses in donor agreements such as collecting and reporting personal
information about staff and beneciaries has been criticized as they undermine the neutrality of
humanitarian organizations and make local acceptance harder to achieve, thereby potentially
compromising access to people in need (Pantuliano et al., 2011, p. 7). This would also be the
case of material support statues that potentially criminalize humanitarian operations, which could
be seen as a return to the siege mentality, where it is acceptable to deprive the civilians of the
enemy of life-saving assistance in pursuit of conict goals (Delaunay et al., 2014).
But neutrality is not the only humanitarian principle directly affected by these measures, since
they could potentially exclude sectors of population from receiving the necessary assistance,

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therefore compromising the principle of impartiality (Delaunay et al., 2014).

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Muslim NGOs
Many practitioners and scholars have pointed out that Islamic organisations have come under
greater scrutiny than others (Pantuliano et al., 2011, p. 7). Their bank transactions are often
blocked without explanation and organizations have to delay their operations for up to three
months while an investigation is conducted (Pantuliano et al., 2011, p. 8). Fifteen organizations
based in the US (all Muslim, and about two thirds dedicated to humanitarian action) have had
their assets blocked (Delaunay, Romero & Vonckx, 2014). Muslim organizations also report
delays with OFAC licenses application processes vis a vis other organizations (Delaunay et al.,
2014).
In December 2001 during Ramadan, when islamic donations are at its yearly peak, the US
government froze the assets of the HLF, the Global Relief Foundation, and the Benevolence
International Foundation. Their ofcers, board members, employees, and even contracted
fundraisers were then persecuted, which alarmed Muslim donors (Aziz, 2011). They feared that
their donations would invite government scrutiny and harassment in the form of tax audits,
immigration checks, requests for voluntary FBI interviews, inclusion on watch lists, and
surveillance (Aziz, 2011). Donations have since decreased signicantly (Adelsberg et al., 2012-
2013, p. 294) and NGOs have argued that the governments actions have diminished American
Muslims exercise of their religion through Zakat.

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Annex II: Humanitarian INGOs Working in the Gaza Strip as of September 2014

The following is an outline of the INGOs working in the Gaza Strip as of September 2014
(OCHA, 2014). The information has been obtained mainly from each INGOs ofcial website.
The search was specically focused in the organizations principles, and their understanding of
the situation in Gaza (regarding Hamas, terrorism and counter-terrorism, the blockade, the
61 62
donors of programs in Gaza , and the needs of the population, when relevant ).
Since the objective of this research is not to make an individual assessment of each organization,
a mere overview of the aspects mentioned above is sufcient. It is worth mentioning that often
times the information available is outdated (for example nancial reports that date years back),
not specic (for example, regarding the principles adopted by the organization) or not available
(for example, regarding the positioning of the organization in the context of Gaza or who is
specically nancing its projects in the Strip). Joint statements are not developed in this section
(for a review of such statements, see Chapter IV).

Action Contre la Faim International (ACF) / Action Against Hunger International


ACF denes itself as an international humanitarian organization committed to ending world
hunger (ACF International, n. d.). It has headquarters in ve countries: France, Canada, the
US, the UK and Spain (ACF International, n. d.). Its principles are independence, neutrality,
63
non-discrimination, free and direct access to victims , professionalism, and transparency
(International Charter, n. d.).

61 For a complete analyses of the restrictions imposed by each donor, see Kate Mackintosh & Patrick
Duplat, Study of the Impact of Donor Counter-Terrorism Measures on Principled Humanitarian Action,
UN OCHA and the Norwegian Refugee Council (2013), p. 19. Available at
https://docs.unocha.org/sites/dms/Documents/CT_Study_Full_Report.pdf.
62 For the propose of this research, it was specically important to see if there were mentions to the needs

for protection (and not only for assistance). This is due to the fact that protection is often recognized as a
more controversial aspect of humanitarian action, as it is based on human rights and IHL. In this sense,
the responsibilities of Israel and Hamas towards the population in Gaza is a centerpiece.
63 This principle is of special relevance in the context of counter-terrorism policies. ACF states that it

demands free access to victims and direct control of its programs. Action Against Hunger uses all means
available to achieve this goal, and will denounce and act against obstacles that prevent the organization
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from doing so (International Charter, n. d.).

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Regarding the blockade, an article from 2009 (Emergency Water Distributions Reach Families
in Gaza, 2009) noted that the Israeli blockade [left] warehouses empty and devoid of the
humanitarian supplies on which the majority of the population depends. The blockade has also
devastated the private sector, driving an unprecedented number of Palestinians out of self-
sufciency and into extreme poverty. After qualifying the policy as collective punishment, it
states that Israel is clearly violating International Humanitarian Law as are the rockets red
from Gaza onto the civilian populations of Israel. Public statements regarding the position of
the organization are not abundant, but a report from 2013 calls for a lifting of the blockade, that
is identied as the main cause of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. It also recognizes the existence
of a military occupation by Israel, and that land fragmentation and political division between
Fatah and Hamas continue to undermine the government (Gaza: 6 Years of Blockade, 2013).
Counter-terrorism references were not found.
In the above mentioned report there is also a reference to the donors of ACFs projects in Gaza:
Spanish Agency of International Development Cooperation (Spanish Government), European
Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), Humanitarian
Emergency Response Fund (administered by OCHA), United Nations International Children's
Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO),
Board of Communities of Castilla-La Mancha (JCCM), Catalan Agency of Cooperation for
Development (ACCD), and the City Council of Barcelona (Gaza: 6 Years of Blockade, 2013).

64
ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid)
65
ANERA is a is non-political and non-religious NGO working in West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon
and Jordan (Mission, n. d.) founded in 1968 to help ease the suffering of Palestinian refugees
after the Arab-Israeli War of 1967.
Most statements and articles found in ANERAs website refer to the humanitarian and
development needs in Gaza (and of course, ANERAs projects to target them). However, there is

a reference to people in Gaza suffering from poverty, war and a crippling blockade (Gaza, n.
d.). Hamas is referred to as a designated terrorist group with whom ANERA does not work or

64 Although the organization denes itself as developmental, they publicly state that in their mission they
also provide humanitarian aid in emergencies.

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65 No further reference to humanitarian principles was found in ANERAs website.

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even coordinate with (How can ANERA ensure that donations serve their intended
beneciaries and not parties like Hamas?, 2014).
According to its website, ANERA's projects are founded mainly by the Organization of the
Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development (OFID), USAID,
Reach out to Asia (member of the Qatar Foundation), Johnson & Johnson, OCHA, Mercy Coprs,
Dubai Cares, TOMS, Direct Relief International and AmeriCares. Because ANERA receives a
substantial part of its funds from governments and because it is based in the US, it is possible to
deduct that they must comply with counter-terrorism laws and measures to a great extent. In this
line, ANERA states that because ANERA receives funding from the United States Agency for
International Development and the State Department, we are subject to regular reviews
(FAQs, n. d.). They go on to say that they screen funders, partners and program recipients
using software to comply with the U.S. Ofce of Foreign Asset Controls (How do I know I
can feel Safe Donating to ANERA?, 2014).

Catholic Relief Services (CRS)


CRS denes itself as both a faith based humanitarian and development agency from the US. The
organizations guiding principles are sacredness and dignity of the human person, rights and
responsibilities, social nature of humanity, the common good, subsidiarity, solidarity, option for
the poor and stewardship (Catholic Relief Services, 2014 [2]). Although there is no explicit
mention to other traditional humanitarian principles in their website, they state that assistance is
provided on the basis of need, not creed, race or nationality (The Mission of Catholic Relief
Services, n. d.), which reects an option for the principle of impartiality.
In terms of political positioning, CRS supports strong leadership by the U.S. government to
seek a comprehensive peace agreement that ends the conict in the Holy Land and achieves both
the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state and Israel's goal of a secure state with
recognized borders (Jerusalem, n. d.).

About 30% of its funds are received from private donors, the other 70% being received from
other diverse sources, of which US government grants amount to almost 40% (Catholic Relief
Services, 2014 [1]). It is not clear per publicly available information where the funds for Gazas
programs come from.

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Global Communities (former CHF International)


Although Global Communities is a US based development INGO, they also provide
humanitarian assistance (in Gaza) (West Bank and Gaza [1], n. d.). Its values (there is no
reference to principles) are genuine, committed, connected and purposeful (What are Global
Communities Values?, n. d.). Although the organization praises itself for local partnerships, a
quick review of their donors show that counter-terrorism operates as a restriction when choosing
such partners. In fact, they only mention the Palestinian National Authority as local government
partner (Our Partners, n. d.).
An article by the Global Director for Communications is clear about their stance regarding
Hamas, to which he refers as the other Palestinian authority. In this article, he states that the
people may be governed by Hamas but the vast majority does not support them. Polls suggest
around 67 percent support regime change and, overall, only 20 percent of Palestinians support
Hamas a number that continues to drop (Humphries, 2013). In another piece, the same ofcer
states that when the organization changed its name, [they could not] change it in Gaza because
the territory is ruled by Hamas, and [they] cannot interact with a terrorist organization
(Humphries, 2014). With respect to the blockade, Global Communities recognizes that it is the
key cause of the humanitarian crises (Wanek, 2014).

Funds for programs in Gaza are donated by WFP, USAID (though Mercy Corps), OCHA, the
Overseas Private Investment Corporation, UKaid, the Middle East Partnership Initiative and the
OPEC Fund for International Development (Our Partners, n. d.).

COOPI Cooperazione Internazionale


COOPI is based in Italy. It is a humanitarian, non-confessional and independent organization
(Our Organization, 2015). Its values are solidarity, transparency, neutrality, participation,
sustainability, responsibility, transfer of knowledge, innovation, respect for diversity and ghting
against discrimination and empowerment of human resources (Our Values, 2013). No

information about its position regarding the situation in Gaza was found.
In terms of funding, 46% comes from the European Union, another 10% from governments and
36% from international organizations (COOPI, 2013).

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DanChurchAid (DCA)
DCA is a Christian (Danish National Evangelical Lutheran Church) faith based organization
headquartered in Denmark. They provide humanitarian and development aid according to need
regardless of religion, gender, political beliefs, race, national or ethnic origins, handicaps or

sexual orientation (Organization and Strategy, n. d.).


During the war in Gaza in the summer of 2014, a statement called for respect of International
Humanitarian Law as well as International Human Rights Law in the Gaza Strip (Statement on
Gaza by DCA, 2014). DCA has a clear rights based approach in the case of Palestine. Some of
the program objectives are stated in terms of ensuring that the rights of Palestinians to
sustainable livelihoods and self-determination are respected, protected and fullled. Third states
(Denmark and EU) are challenged to adhere to international humanitarian and human rights law
with the long term aim of ending occupation and achieving a just and lasting solution to the
Israeli-Palestinian conict (DanChurchAid, 2015).
No statements were found regarding the organizations opinion about Hamas or counter-
terrorism.
DCAs funding comes from a large variety of donors, including ECHO and UN agencies
(DanChurchAid, 2015).

GVC- Civil Volunteer Group / Gruppo di Volontariato Civile (GVC)

GVC is an secular and independent NGO based in Italy, that provides both humanitarian and
development aid. No information was found as of the organizations positioning regarding the
context in Gaza, their role or the source of its founding.

Handicap International (HI)


HI is an independent and impartial humanitarian organization. They respond to peoples needs
but also promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights (About, n. d.).
The organization has included a few statements about the blockade indicating that it is a major
obstacle to providing humanitarian aid in Gaza: [it] prevents the hospitals from operating
properly and means the inhabitants cannot access the essential goods and services they need. ()

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Humanitarian Situation is Untenable, n. d.); the International Community must do more to nd


durable solutions to the conict, () end the blockade in Gaza and ensuring all parties respect
their obligations under international humanitarian law (NGOs Warn of Gazas Health
Emergency, 2014). Hamas was only mentioned in terms of the conict with Israel: the
ceasere between Israel and Hamas (Gaza Strip: back to Work, n. d.), the conict between
Israel and Hamas (Inside Gaza: We are All Terried, n. d.), etc. References to terrorism and
counter-terrorism were not found.
The organization receives funds from a variety of donors, including governments and USAID.
However, no information about how projects in Gaza are funded was found.

Help Age International


The organization recognizes supportive, optimistic, expert and committed as its values (Our
Values and Ambitions, n. d.). In their ofcial website there is no mention to traditional
humanitarian principles.
Although the organization has been part of joint statements regarding the overall situation in
Gaza including counter-terrorism measures, they do not have clear individual statements in this
regard on their website, limiting their reports to the needs for humanitarian assistance.
There is a mention in their website to the fact that they provide assistance together with WFP and
UNRWA (Marzouk, 2014), and that their donors in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are
AECID (Government of Spain), Caritas Germany, Age UK, the European Union, Community of
Madrid, German Humanitarian Assistance, Help Age Deutschland, Caritas Germany, Age
International and the Department for International Development (UK Government) (Occupied
Palestinian Territories, n. d.). This information does not distinguish between the West Bank and
the Gaza Strip.

International Medical Corps (IMC)


IMC is a humanitarian organization, although they also work in development aid. They are
nonpolitical, nonsectarian (Our Mission [1], n. d.), and provide assistance wherever there is

a need (Overview, n. d.). The headquarters are in Los Angeles, California.

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On their ofcial website, no specic mention to Hamas, counter-terrorism or the situation in


Gaza (beyond the need for assistance) was found. However, the organization has been part of
joint statements in this regard.
The donors for Gazas projects include the European Commission and USAID (Ernst & Young,
2013).

International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)


IOCC is a faith based organization, that provides both humanitarian and development assistance
without discrimination (Mission and Focus, n. d.). It is headquartered in the US.

No articles mentioning Hamas, Israel or counter-terrorism were found in IOCCs website.


Regarding the blockade, it states that it has rendered most of the Gaza Strip's 1.8 million people
dependent on humanitarian aid (IOCC Responds to Critical Needs of Families in Gaza, Urges
Support, 2014).
Its donors include ECHO, UN agencies, USAID, and the Ofce of U.S. Foreign Disaster
Assistance (OFDA), among several others (Partnering for Change, n. d.). It is not clear per the
information provided in their website where the funds for their projects in Gaza come from.

Islamic Relief - France / Secours Islamique France - Gaza Strip


Islamic Relief is an independent humanitarian and development organization. As it is a faith
based organization which values are derived from the teachings of the the Quran and Sunnah,
and are listed on its website as sincerity, excellence, compassion, social justice and custodianship
(Who We Are, n. d.). The organization adopts the principles of impartiality and independence
(Independent investigation of Islamic Relief operations, 2014).
Illustrative of the positioning of the organization in the case of Gaza is an incident that they
faced in 2014 when the Israeli Government designated Islamic Relief Worldwide as an
unauthorized association, alleging links with Hamas66 . In relation to this, Islamic Relief stated
that they [abhor] terrorism in all its forms (Independent investigation of Islamic Relief
operations, 2014), recognizing therefore Hamas as a terrorist organization. Interestingly enough,

this is the only article that mentions either Hamas or Israel (not even the reports during the 2014

66 That same year, the Government of the United Arab Emirates listed Islamic Relief as a terrorist
organization (UAE lists scores of groups as terrorists, 2014).
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summer war mention either of the parties). Regarding the blockade, the organization states that
years of blockade and political conict have led Gaza to its current situation of poverty

(Feature: Poverty and crisis in blockaded Gaza, n. d.) and that it is currently hindering
attempts to reconstruct schools, hospitals and homes (Why Your Help is Needed, n. d.).
Islamic Relief counts among its key partners the Department for International Development of
the UK Government, ECHO and UN agencies (Islamic Relief Worldwide, 2013). It is not clear
how the programs in Gaza are specically founded.

Mdecins du Monde - France / Medicos del Mundo - Spain (MDM)


MDM is a humanitarian organization that adopts the humanitarian principles of humanity,
impartiality and independence, and adds its own principles of secularism, democracy,
commitment and transparency (Values, n. d.).
MDM recognizes the blockade as one of the causes impeding access to health care, and it
acknowledges working with the Ministry of Health in Gaza (Palestinian Territories, n. d.). No
other clear positions in the context of Gaza were found in its website.
Its main government and institutional donors are the European Union, UN agencies, the Global
Fund and the French Government (Doctors of the World, n. d.).

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP)


MAP is an organization headquartered in the UK that adopts accountability principles, among
them a strong commitment to humanitarian standards and rights that they take from two main
organizations: the Association for International Development Agencies (AIDA) and
Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) (Our Standards, n. d.).
As most organizations, they recognize the blockade as one of the reasons for the current situation
in Gaza: the health system [is] in a dire condition, after seven years of the blockade, with acute
shortages of supplies, lack of equipment, daily prolonged power-cuts and over-worked staff
(MAP, n. d.). Not only do they have a number or articles in this issue, but also they sometimes
include the closure of the border with Egypt as part of the problem (Gaza: caught between the

blockade and closed tunnels, 2013). In the same document, they also acknowledge Israels
occupation (decades of Israeli occupation [] had a devastating impact on the lives of
Palestinians), the political nature of the crises (The failure to make any substantial political
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progress is a major obstacle []) and the need for advocacy (Palestinians do not want to be
aid dependent and aid without advocacy perpetuates an unequal status quo). This is one of the
few organizations that makes public its advocacy efforts including the need to lift the Israeli
blockade (MAP, n. d.). There is no reference to counter-terrorism measures.
It was not possible to nd information about who its funds projects in Gaza, however the
organization states that it does not directly receive any money from the governments of Arab
countries (Gaza Emergency 2014: FAQs, n. d.).

Mercy Corps
According to Mercy Corps website, its values are the intrinsic value and dignity of human
life, peoples resilience, the right to life with peace and political participation, and ecological and
nancial responsibility (Our Mission [2], n. d.). The INGO is headquartered in the US.
Mercy Corps recognizes that the blockade is the main cause of the economic crises in Gaza, and
its concomitant humanitarian consequences (West Bank and Gaza [2], n. d.). They have also
been outspoken in terms of how the blockade diminishes humanitarian relief efforts when
crossings are severely limiting (Aid to Gazans Hampered by Israeli Bureaucracy, 2009).
67
Regarding counter-terrorism laws , Mercy Corps has advocated for a change in this legislation
in the US, stating that they can have the unanticipated consequence of delaying or completely
obstructing lifesaving assistance (New Bill to Increase Humanitarian Access in Toughest
Places, 2014). That being said, only two articles in Mercy Corps website refer to counter-
terrorism, among hundreds of articles related to the humanitarian needs in Gaza. The only
references to Hamas are done in relation to the conict with Israel, but do not provide substantial
material on the opinion of the organization about the Palestinian group.
Although it is not clear where the funds for programs in Gaza are obtained from, it is interesting
to point out that in 2013 approximately 67% of the organizations income came from
government support (Mercy Corps and Afliates, 2014).

67 These statements have been done in general and not specically for the case of Gaza.
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Mdecins Sans Frontires (MSF) - France


MSF in an impartial, independent and neutral humanitarian organization, that recognizes
bearing witness and speaking out as a component of their role in very specic circumstances.

MSF has clearly positioned itself in terms of the consequences of the GWOT on humanitarian
action (War on Terrorism and Humanitarianism, 2002). With regards to the blockade (to which
MSF often refers as economic embargo), the organization recognizes its responsibility in the
overall humanitarian situation as it is making the re-supply of hospitals with drugs and
equipment highly problematic (International Activity Report 2007: Gaza Strip, 2007).
MSF is one of the few organizations that has made public its interactions with Hamas (as the
government in Gaza) and the challenges faced during the transition from the Fatah led
government (Abu-Sada, 2011). They go as far as to state that humanitarian aid is being
expected to assume [the role of an] assistant prison guard at the center of a pitiless system of
domination and segregation (Abu-Sada, 2011) or that MSFs work among the 1.8 million
besieged Palestinian refugees is akin to being in an open-air prison to patch up prisoners in
between their torture sessions (Fisk, 2014).
MSF has often stated that to maintain its independency, it is of paramount importance to retain a
high level of private income. In this line, funds coming from private sources represented 90.8%
of MSF total income in 2013 (Mdecins Sans Frontires, 2013, p. 27). They specically
emphasize the importance of this nancial independence in contexts extremely politicized such
as the one in Gaza (International Activity Report 2007: Gaza Strip, 2007). For example, in
2007 after Hamas defeated Fatah a number of organizations that relied heavily on public funds
were forced to limit or stop their operations as a consequence of the prohibition to contact
Hamas, however MSF was not affected in this sense because of the private source of its funding
(Abu-Sada, 2011).

Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)


NCA is a Christian faith based organization working both in humanitarian and development aid.
According to the organizations Statement of Principles, its values are the integrity of
creation, human dignity, global justice, inclusive communities and compassion (Norwegian
Church Aid, 2008).

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The organization recognizes Hamas as the de facto government in Gaza and therefore a duty
bearer in terms of the rights of the Palestinian people (Norwegian Church Aid, 2010), and that
Churches have managed to continue working in Gaza under any political regime (Norwegian
Church Aid, 2010). About the blockade, the organization only mentions that the commercial
sector has been hard hit by it since 2006 (Norwegian Church Aid, 2010). No further statements
were found with regards to the context in Gaza or counter-terrorism measures.
As of 2013, about 62% of NCAs funding came from the Norwegian governments (mainly
through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Agency for Development and

Cooperation, NORAD) (Donors, n. d.).

Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA)


NPA is a humanitarian organization that works impartially, which values are based in the labor
movement (Norwegian Peoples Aid, 2011).
NPA supports Palestinians right to independence and freedom from oppression, occupation
and forced exile (Palestine, n. d.). They have stated that for the people of Gaza to recover it is
essential that Israel lifts the blockade and ultimately ends the occupation and that they have a
right to development (Gaza Rebuilding Process Highlights the Importance of Lifting the
Blockade, 2014). Furthermore, NPA explicitly claimed that Israel actions during the summer
2014 war amounted to war crimes (Stop the Killings in the Gaza Strip!, 2014). The
organization recognizes Hamas as one of the organizations claiming the legitimate government
of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (together with Fatah) (Palestine - Gaza Strip, n. d.). No
reference to Hamas as a terrorist organization nor to counter-terrorism were found in NPAs
website.
NPA receives funds from a number of donors, including the governments of Norway (NORAD
and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Sweden (Swedish International Development Cooperation
Agency, SIDA), the US (USAID and the US Department of State), Canada and South Sudan, and
institutions such as ECHO, the EU Commission and UN agencies (Partners and Donors, n. d.).
Per NPAs website, it is not clear where the funds for Gaza are received from.

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Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)


NRC denes itself as an independent, humanitarian, non-prot, non-governmental
organization (NRC at a Glance, n. d.).
NRC recognizes the ongoing Israeli occupation and conict as the causes of the current
humanitarian situation (NRCs Country Program in Palestine, 2015). The organization went as
far as to state that the international community needs to put pressure for a political solution since
otherwise it is only rebuilding Gaza once and again, and that the humanitarian needs in Gaza are
not a consequence of the summer 2014 war but of prolonged occupation and conict and seven

years of Israeli blockade isolating Gaza, which calls for protection of the human rights of
people on both sides of the border and not mere monetary contributions for aid (Money Alone
will not Solve the Problems, 2014). About Hamas, NRC has statements in terms of the summer
2014 conict but not associating Hamas with terrorism, and in fact the organization supports a
unied Palestinian government between Hamas and Fatah (World not delivering on Gaza
Reconstruction Promises, 2014). Regarding counter-terrorism, the organization echoes some
articles indicating its impact in humanitarian action and has been part of joint statements
developed in previous pages.
NRC receives funds from a variety of institutional donors, including the government of Norway
(NORAD and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), the government of Sweden (SIDA), the
government of the UK, the European Union (Europe Aid and ECHO) and UN agencies
(Norwegian Refugee Council, 2014). It is not clear per the organizations website where the
funds for programs in Gaza come from.

Oxfam - Great Britain / Italy


Oxfam is a secular organization ghting poverty that has a rights based approach to humanitarian
and development aid (Our Commitment to Human Rights, n. d.).
Oxfam has been very outspoken against the blockade in Gaza. As an example, in 2009 the
organization stated that by attempting to isolate Hamas, the government of Israel and key
international donor governments and institutions have in fact isolated the people of Gaza
(Rebuilding Gaza: Putting People before Politics), 2009). In August 2014 Oxfam organized a
demonstration in London calling for a permanent lifting of the blockade in Gaza. In a press
release, they stated that the seven years of blockade amount to collective punishment which is
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prohibited under IHL (Lifting Blockade Crucial to Gaza Recovery, 2014) (it has also stated
repeatedly that neither Israel nor Hamas respect IHL). Regarding counter-terrorism, Oxfam
recommended governments measures [prohibited] the allocation or restriction of humanitarian
assistance for military or counter-terrorism objectives (Whose Aid is it Anyway?, 2011),
although this assertion was not made specically in reference to Gaza. Declarations mentioning
Hamas do not reect a clear position regarding its role and merely call for respect of IHL and a
cease of hostilities (always making a similar statement towards Israel).
Oxfam receives 42% of its funds from institutions such as the EU, UN agencies and governments

(21%); Palestine ranks fourth among recipient countries (Oxfam, n. d.). It is not clear in the
website of Oxfam International which governments it receives funds from, or where the funds
for programs in Gaza come from.

Palestine Trauma Centre (PTC) UK


PTC is a non-political, non-confessional NGO based in the UK (Welcome to PTC (UK),
2013).
In their relatively brief website, PTC states that the siege imposed by Israel makes resources very
scarce in Gaza, and that the tunnels to Egypt allow for expensive items (Gaza Visit 2011,
2013). No further information about the understanding of the organization of the context in Gaza
nor about the source of their funds were found.

Premiere Urgence - Aide Medicale Internationale (PU-AMI)


PU-AMI is a humanitarian, non-political and secular NGO headquartered in France (Qui
sommes-nous?, 2015). Its principles are humanity, independence, impartiality/neutrality,
adaptation, transparency, cooperation/partnership, engagement/dialogue/initiative and
tmoignage (Notre Charte, 2011).
The organization recognizes the humanitarian consequences of the blockade (including the role
of Egypt) and refers to Hamas as the de facto government (Territoire Palestinien Occup,
2014). Although PU-AMI has recently denounced the consequences of counter-terrorism in
humanitarian action, this was done in relation to EU policies in Iraq and Syria, and not Gaza
(Future stratgie de l'UE sur la Syrie et l'Irak - Alerte des ONG: l'humanitaire n'est pas un outil
contre-terroriste, 2015).
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Among its long list of funders, PU-AMI includes ECHO, UN agencies and the governments of
Canada, Switzerland, the UK, the US (USAID) and France (Nos partenaires., 2014). However,
for programs in Gaza the organization only uses funds from ECHO and EuropeAid (Territoire
Palestinien Occup , 2014).

Qatar Charity (QC)


68
QC is an Islamic humanitarian impartial NGO headquartered in Qatar . Its principles are
humanity, non-discrimination, impartiality, independency, professionalism and cooperation

(About Us, 2013). Their ofcial website does not provide any information about their
interpretation of the context in Gaza nor of the source of their funds.

Relief International (RI)


RI is an NGO providing both humanitarian and development assistance. It is non-political and
non-sectarian, and it provides aid to the most vulnerable without discrimination (Our
Mission [3], n. d.). The organization is headquartered in the US.
No information about RIs understanding of the context in Gaza was found in their website.
Among its institutional donors, RI lists USAID, the UN and the EU. It is not clear per
information provided in the website where the funds for programs in Gaza come from.

Save the Children International


Save the Children is an NGO that provides humanitarian and development assistant which values
are accountability, ambition, collaboration, creativity and integrity (Our Vision, Mission and
Values, n. d.). It has its headquarters in the UK.
After the Israel-Gaza ceasere in the summer 2014, Save the Children called for a lift of the
blockade to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe (Israel-Gaza Ceasere: Now the Blockade has
to be Lifted to Avoid Humanitarian Catastrophe, 2014), but the organization did not develop
their position in this regard further. No referenced to Hamas, terrorism or counter-terrorism were
found in the organizations ofcial website.

68 The information from Qatar Charity has been retrieved from Qatar Charity UK, since the website of
Qatar Charity is in Arabic only.

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Save the Children receives 58% of its income from institutional donors, including governments
(Save the Children, 2015), among these USAID (Save the Children, n. d.). It is not clear per their
website where the funds for programs in Gaza are received from.

United Palestinian Appeal (UPA)


UPA is an NGO that provides both humanitarian and development assistance (About UPA, n.
d.), and it is strictly non-partisan [and] non-sectarian (Q&A, n. d.). It is headquartered in the
US and in their website they specically state that they [comply] fully with U.S. regulations in
terms of the destination of donations (Q&A, n. d.).
About the blockade imposed by Israel, UPA has stated that it is against Palestinians human right
to food and it connects it to the increase in unemployment, malnutrition and poverty (Statement
on the Israeli Blockade of the Gaza Strip, 2012). No statements regarding counter-terrorism or
Hamas were found in UPAs website.
UPA receives it funds mainly from private foundations and individuals, with the exception of the
Government of Saudi Arabia (it received once funds from USAID, but this is not currently the
case) (UPA United Palestinian Appeal, 2014).

War Child - Holland


War Child is an independent and impartial NGO based in the UK, Holland and Canada (although
it was created in the UK, there is not one headquarter for the three chapters of the organization)
(Organization, n. d.).
No remarks about counter-terrorism, Hamas or the blockade were found in War Child Hollands
website. The only statements about Gaza are in reference with the psychological needs of war
affected children, but do not reect a clear positioning of the organization.
Among its institutional donors, War Child counts the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the
European Commission and UN agencies (UNICEF and UNHCR) (War Child, n. d.). It is not
clear where the funds for programs in Gaza come from.

World Vision
World Vision is a impartial humanitarian faith (Christian) based organization (How We Work,
n. d.) headquartered in the US.

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No statements about counter-terrorism, Hamas or the blockade were found in World Visions
website. The only remarks about Gaza are in reference with humanitarian needs for assistance.
About 19% of World Visions funds are received by public grants (World Vision, n. d.), mainly
from USAID (World Vision, 2014). No information about the source funds of Gaza specic
programs was found.

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