The Biden administration granted over $90,000 dollars to a terrorist-linked Palestinian organization in the weeks before Hamas attacked, according to NGO Monitor.
The State Department approved two grants to the Phoenix Center for Research and Field Studies, established in 2021 under Gaza University, valued at $30,088 for an August 2023-July 2024 project and $60,000 for a September 2023-August 2024 project. The Phoenix Center’s website reveals senior members of Palestinian terrorist organizations participated in multiple conferences and panels previously hosted by the center, which backed “armed resistance” against Israel, NGO Monitor reported.
The attacks began Saturday at daybreak, when Hamas launched thousands of rockets into Israel.
The recipient of the grant is listed as the “Finiq Center for Field Studies and Researches.” NGO Monitor attributes the different spelling to a phonetic error, since the address that matches the Phoenix Center’s address.
At a Dec. 13, 2022 discussion hosted by the center on “the approaches of open conflict with the occupation authorities in Jerusalem and the West Bank,” participants concluded “the priorities of future agendas must include the need to reintegrate armed resistance and popular resistance,” according to document produced by the Phoenix Center and translated from Arabic by NGO Monitor.
The center identifies itself as “an independent, non-profit Palestinian institution established within the framework of its responsibility towards Palestinian communities to meet their political, economic and social needs,” according to its website.
A Sept. 19, 2022 discussion hosted by the center featured senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) member Khader Habib, as did a July 2022 discussion, which also included senior PIJ members Khader Habib, Ahmed Al-Mudallal and Khaled Al-Batsh and senior Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Mohammed Al-Ghoul, according to NGO Monitor.
Both PIJ and PFLP are designated as foreign terrorist organizations by the State Department.
The Phoenix Center’s Director of Programs, Salah Abdalati, has voiced support for “armed resistance” and terror groups in multiple statements, per NGO Monitor.
“Symbolic and popular resistance, in all its forms, whether its…going on strike, mutiny, marches, confronting occupation forces…or escalating armed resistance, or other forms and methods of ingenuitive combat, must strengthen in various Palestinian communities so that resistance becomes a way of life,” he wrote in a Feb. 24, 2023 Facebook post, translated by NGO Monitor.
In an Aug. 7, 2022 post, he called Israel “the state which most of its citizens have become as the ISIS of this generation,” according to NGO Monitor.
“There is no choice but steadfastness and resistance against the occupation, and it is a right and a duty of a nation under occupation,” he wrote, per NGO Monitor.
The grant for the project beginning in Sept. 2023 was provided to “develop and enhance the knowledge and skills of Palestinian USG alumni in public speaking, storytelling, and digital networking.”
“The program activities further promote diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility,” the description states.
The other grant for the August 2023 project states that the project team has “developed clear, measurable objectives to develop the IT skills, raise the awareness of IT trends, and provide networking opportunities with IT employers in Europe and Asia for target audiences.”
The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Katelynn Richardson on October 13, 2023