The first tender (Felesteen, February 27, 2014) deals with “Supply Veterinary Services (Vet medicines and drugs & Sponge and hormones & Vaccines and antibiotics).” The project, bearing the code: Z-020981-004 is funded by DFATD, supervised by Oxfam Italy and implemented by UAWC. (Tender ref: UAWC- OIT –Tend25- 2 -2014).
The second tender (Felesteen, March 17, 2014) deals with “Supply & install of Sheep Shelters in The Gaza Strip.” The project, bearing the code: Z-020981-004 is funded by DFATD, supervised by Oxfam Italy and implemented by UAWC. (Tender ref: UAWC- OIT –Tend16- 3 -2014).
The Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) defines itself as “a leading Palestinian Agricultural Development Organization” which “has been efficiently engaged in Palestinian land development, water resources & environment, poverty reduction and women empowerment, olive oil marketing, as well as other crucial rural development programs.”
UAWC was founded in 1986 by the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and is regarded as one of its official arms.
Several senior members of UAWC were arrested in recent years by Israel because of security reasons including Bashir al-Khairi (بشير الخيري), a board member and a former chairman of UWAC, Dr. Yusuf Abd al-Haq (يوسف عبد الحق), a board member of the UAWC Ramallah office, Muhammad Nujum (محمد نجوم), the manager of UWAC Jericho office, Fuad Abu Seif (فؤاد أبو سيف), UWAC’s Director of Operations and Development, Ahmad Sufan (أحمد صوفان), a board member of UAWC, Abd al-Al-Razeq Farraj (عبد الرازق فراج), UAWC director of Administrative and Financial Affairs, Dr. Muayyad Basharat (مؤيد بشارات) a Project Coordinator at UWAC Jericho office and Naeema Zaidan (نعيمه زيدان), a prominent operative of UWAC in the area of Salfit (the West Bank). Some were arrested by administrative order and others were tried and sentenced to different terms of imprisonment.
Abd al-Al-Razeq Farraj, UAWC director of Administrative and Financial Affairs, was arrested multi times since 1986 by Israeli security forces and was sentenced to 6 and 4.5 imprisonment terms (in 1986 and 1993 respectively). He was re-arrested by administrative order in 2002, 2009 and 2011. Israeli military court in West Bank upheld the administrative arrest based onclassified Intelligence information. The military court noted that Abd al-Al-Razeq Farraj is an operative of PFLP and that his release may constitutes a danger to the security of the area.
Bashir al-Khairi, (بشير الخيري), a board member UWAC and a former chairman of the organization, is described as a senior operative of the PFLP and a member of the political bureau of PFLP.
Naeema Zaidan, a former (died in 2011) prominent operative of UAWC in the area of Salfit (the West Bank), was described as a senior member of PFLP, who spent more than a year and a half in Israeli jail and was routinely summoned for interrogation.
UAWC held in 2010 an event in solidarity with Secretary-General of PFLP Ahmad Saadat, who was convicted in Palestinian and later Israeli court in masterminding the assassination in 2001 of the Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi. In his speech during the event the took place in Gaza, Muhammad al-Bakri (محمد البكري) the Executive Director of UWAC in Gaza, sent his greetings to Ahmad Saadat and to all Palestinian prisoners and detainees on the eve of “the anniversary of the Ze'evi’s assassination” (October 16, 2010).
On March 30, 2013 UAWC issued a non-periodical supplement named “The Call of the Land” and attached to the Palestinian al-Ayyam daily. The headline of this publication reads the following: “On the anniversary of the Land Day, the blessing of the homeland [is sent] to the martyrs of Palestine who dyed the land with their blood; the blessing of the homeland is sent to our prisoner, the heroes, while they are writing the epic of steadfastness in the cellars and jails of the occupation…”
The unsigned editorial on the front page praises the Palestinian “martyrs” and “prisoners” for their struggle to liberate Palestine. “… in this day the Salt of the Earth are in attendance, headed by the martyrs, our live memories, who dyed the land with their pure blood, sacrificing their lives for the land, for the freedom, independence and return [of the refugees]. The martyrs do not ask us but to be adherent to their struggles and sacrifices with concrete action, not with statements, announcements and speeches etc. Are we doing [it]?
“In attendance are more than one hundred martyrs of our people [who died] since the beginning of the Zionist invasion… in this particular day approximately 4,500 Palestinian prisoners are in attendance, [those] who sacrificed their freedom and the best years of their youth in support of the land and the people…”
Ali Jaradat (علي جرادات), probably the same Ali Jaradat who serves as the spokesperson of the PFLP, wrote the following in anarticle that appears in this supplement:
“…the day of the land is the day of renewing the testament to defend it [the land], to sacrifice the soul in the sake of Allah (استشهاد), to enter prison for returning it [the land] and to the return of the refugees to it… There are 5,000 [Palestinian prisoners] in the darkness of the prisons [because of their fighting] for the freedom of the people and defending the land as it is the [Palestinian] homeland. They are still in the first line of confrontation, steadfast and fighting. After the martyrs, they [prisoners] are the finest young men and women…”
All in all, the information presented above suggests that the Canada is partnering with UAWC, a Palestinian NGO affiliated with the PFLP, which is designated by the Canadian government as a terrorist organization. The Canadian funding for projects implemented by UAWC may end up in the hands of PFLP operatives and serve the interests of the PFLP through this Palestinian NGO, which is described as one of the its official arms.