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Itamar Marcus is the founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch. He was appointed by the Israeli government to be the Israeli representative (communication specialist) to the Trilateral (Israeli-American-Palestinian) Anti-Incitement Committee established under the Wye Accords. From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Marcus served as research director of the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, writing reports on PA, Syrian, and Jordanian schoolbooks. He holds a BA in political science from City College of New York and an MA in Hebrew culture from New York University. Barbara Crook is associate director and North American representative of Palestinian Media Watch. She teaches at the School of Journalism and Communications at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She holds an Honors BA in English literature from Queen's University, an MA in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and is a Southam Fellow at the University of Toronto.

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Funding Terror By: Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
Palestinian Media Watch | Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Report

An integral component of the United States’ war on terror is cutting off funding to terrorists and the infrastructures that promote terror. This report documents the undermining of this US policy and the apparent violation of US law by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the Palestinian Authority (PA) areas through the funding of Al Quds Open University. Al Quds is a Palestinian university that hosts branches of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror organizations throughout Gaza and the West Bank.

Executive Summary

A. Direct funding of Al Quds University

In September 2006 at a ceremony at Al Quds Open University, USAID announced $100,000 of in-kind assistance to Al Quds Open University. [See Appendix 1.] US law prohibits funding any "educational institution that the Secretary knows or has reason to believe advocates, plans, sponsors, engages in, or has engaged in, terrorist activity... None of the funds...may be made available for the purpose of recognizing or otherwise honoring individuals who commit, or have committed, acts of terrorism.” (Foreign Operations Bill 2006 (SEC. 559.b-c)

Al Quds Open University is ineligible to receive money from USAID because:

Al Quds hosts student branches of Hamas and Islamic Jihad on campus [See Part 1];
Campus activities honor terrorists, past and present [Part 2];
Campus activities advocate terror as legitimate “resistance;”
Al Quds University property is used for Hamas assemblies;
Al Quds administration members join in terror group events on campus;
Al Quds university participates in and sponsors off campus activities honoring terrorists [See part 2 for all campus activities].

In the 2005 Foreign Operations Bill the US congress tightened the test of eligibility for receiving US assistance. Since then, not only must the money not be used for terror-associated activities, but the recipient likewise must not be involved in or use any part of its budget for terror-associated activities. Thus, US law prohibits assistance to university infrastructures, if the university is terror-supporting or honors terrorists. Because Al Quds University hosts branches of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and has activities on campus promoting and honoring terrorists, this USAID support is in violation of US law.

B. Indirect funding of Universities

In addition to the $100,000 of direct in-kind assistance, USAID announced at the same ceremony an additional $2.4 million of assistance for 2,000 student scholarships, amounting to significant indirect assistance to Al Quds (and possibly other universities). It was not specified in the press releases what percentage of this $2.4 million was given to the universities as tuition, directly from USAID or through the students. In addition, it is unclear if US law permits USAID to assist students in cases where the money designated by USAID is for a specific university that hosts terror branches. In these cases, the student is merely a conduit for supporting a terror-hosting institution. It is likewise unclear if US laws were violated by USAID officials by participating in the ceremony with Al Quds officials on the campus of the University, thereby granting American legitimacy to a university that hosts Hamas and Islamic Jihad. According to PA newspaper reports and USAID press releases, there was no indication that USAID asked the university at the ceremony or otherwise that the terror branches be closed, or that terror support activities be curtailed.

It is likewise not clear what steps, if any, USAID has taken to guarantee in its criteria for applicants that none of the 2,000 scholarship recipients are members of the Hamas or Islamic Jihad student unions, have participated in their events, or have given any support to Hamas or Islamic Jihad, including voting for them in the council elections. Having recipients sign a declaration that they do not support terror activities is insufficient, as Palestinian society, including the schoolbooks, use the term “resistance” to define what the rest of the world calls terror. A recipient could be an active Hamas supporter and yet still profess in writing that he/she rejects terror.

Background 1: About Al-Quds and PA Universities

Established in Jerusalem in 1984, the Al-Quds Open University has more than 7,000 students. The university’s main campus is in Abu Dis with branches throughout the Palestinian territories. Each of these branches has active student union groups of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which serve as centers of political activity and support for terror. The election platforms of the student parties reiterate the agendas of their parent terror movements. [See Part 2]

Both Hamas and the Islamic Jihad are outlawed terror groups by the US, Canada and the European Union.

Background 2: History of 2005- 2006 Foreign Operations Bill

Before 2005, the test of eligibility for US foreign aid funding primarily involved verifying that the money was not used for terror. A 2004 PMW report, "Four Loopholes in US Anti-Terror Funding Laws," highlighted the ease with which the Palestinians used US funds to honor terrorists and promote terror, and how educational institutions receiving US finding were actively involved in terror promotion with other parts of their budget. [See PMW report and Washington Times articles.] The 2005 Foreign Operations Bill closed these multiple loopholes, and a prominent component was that aid recipients could not be involved with terror in any way – regardless of the use of American grants.

Background 3: The Misguided Western Funding of PA Infrastructures
One of the troubling characteristics of PA society is that under the Arafat – Abbas regimes, terror promotion and glorification has been endemic. Even the most innocent infrastructures, including school names, sporting events, cultural venues and street names, are used to honor suicide terrorists. Western funding bodies have ignored this and continue funding the cultural and educational infrastructures in spite of their support for terror and honoring terrorists. As a result, PA children continue today to see terrorists honored as heroes and role models everywhere they turn.

Background 4: PA Universities - breeding grounds for terrorists

The presence of Hamas and Islamic Jihad student branches in all PA universities funded through Western support is an unfortunate example of how the West undermines its own war on terror and its goal of peace promotion. PA universities have historically been breeding grounds for terrorists. Campuses are used to promote terror and to recruit and plan terrorist activities. For example, it was Al-Kutlah Al-Islamiyyah (Hamas) at the Al-Najah University that created the horrific celebration of the 2001 Sbarro Pizza shop bombing by building a mock pizza parlor and decorating the walls and tables with images of pizza and body parts of the 14 murdered Israelis. Numerous suicide terrorists have come from PA universities, including one from Al Quds Open University. [See listing in Part 3]


While a very important message of absolute intolerance for terror could be sent if the US were to follow through on its stated policy, in practice the opposite occurs. USAID funding of Palestinian terror-hosting institutions like Al Quds Open University, and participating in events on their campus, send a strong message that the US is willing to turn the other way and pretend it doesn't see the terror. This makes a mockery of US law and undermines the very peace the US wants to promote through its assistance.


Part 1
Al Quds Open University student council hosts branches of terror organizations.

Part 2
Al Quds Open University hosts a wide range of activities that promote terror and deny Israel’s right to exist.

Part 3
Listing of some terrorists and suicide terrorists who have come from PA universities, including Al Quds Open University.

Part 1: Al Quds Open University hosts branches of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror organizations in student council. [For easy identification the names of some terror organizations and terrorists are followed by an asterisk (*).]

A. Announcement of Al Quds U. Student Elections with Hamas

“The election campaigns for the Al-Quds Open [University] student council seats are over. The participating blocs are:

The bloc named after the Martyr Yasser Arafat, representing the Fatah movement.

The “Falastin Al-Muslimah”* [Muslim Palestine] bloc, representing Hamas.*

The bloc named after the Martyr Rassan Kanafani, representing the Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine].*

The bloc named after Amar Al-Kassem, representing the Democratic Front [for the Liberation of Palestine]*.” [Al-Quds, April 27, 2006]

B. Hamas and Islamic Jihad at main university branch in Abu Dis

“The Shabiba movement of Fatah won 25 seats in the Student Union Council at Al-Quds University-Abu Dis, followed by Hamas* movement with 21 seats…The Popular Front* [for the Liberation of Palestine] won 2 seats, the Islamic Jihad* movement 2 seats and the Democratic Front* [for the Liberation of Palestine] 1 seat... Fatah won in all student councils in West Bank universities with the exception of Bir Zeit University and Hebron University in which Hamas* won...”
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 31, 2006]

C. Hamas and Islamic Jihad at Jenin district branch

“Student groups at Al-Quds Open University – Jenin educational district – announced yesterday that they had concluded preparations for student council elections...

Four groups competed in the elections:

1- The group named after the Martyr Yasser Arafat of the Shabiba student movement - that is the student framework of Fatah movement.

2- The United Left-Wing Student Group, which is a coalition between the Students’ Action Front that is the student framework of the Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine]*, and the Progressive Students Front - that is the student framework of the Democratic Front [for the Liberation of Palestine]*.

3- The “Al-Jama’ah Al-Islamiyah”* [Islamic Group] that is the student framework of the Islamic Jihad* movement.

4- The “Al-Kutlah Al-Islamiyah”* [Islamic Bloc] that is the student framework of Hamas* movement.” [Al-Ayyam, April 27, 2006]

D. Hamas at Nablus district branch

“Four student groups will compete next Saturday in the student council elections of Al-Quds Open University in Nablus Educational District...
The Jerusalem and Return group [Kutlat Al-Quds wa Al-Awdah] that is associated with Shabiba student movement of Fatah.

“Falastin Al-Muslimah Bloc" that is associated with “Al-Kutlah Al-Islamiyah”* of Hamas*.

"The Jerusalem Bloc" [Kutlat Al-Quds] that is associated with the Progressive Students’ Action Front of the Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine]*.

The group named after the Martyr Umar Al-Qasim that is associated with the student union block of the Democratic Front [for the Liberation of Palestine]*...” [Al-Ayyam, April 27, 2006]

E. Hamas at Qalqilya district branch

“In two days, the students of the “Al-Quds” Open University, Qalqilya educational district, will ... vote for their candidates for the student council…

The “Jerusalem and return” group [Kutlat Al-Quds wa Al-Awdah], [representing] the “Shabiba” student movement [Fatah].

The “Falastin Al-Muslimah” group [representing] “Al-Kutla Al-Islamiya” [Hamas*].

The PLO [Palestinian Liberation Organization]* group, which is a coalition between the “Al-Shaa’b” [“the people”] party, and the Democratic Front [for the Liberation of Palestine]*.” [Al-Ayyam, April 27, 2006]

F. Hamas and Islamic Jihad at Tul Karem district branch

“The campaigns began yesterday in the Tul Karem district, towards the district’s “Al-Quds” Open University student council elections…

In these elections, the participants are:

The “Jerusalem and the Return” group [Kutlat Al-Quds wa Al-Awdah], which represents a coalition between the Fatah movement with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine*…

The group named after the Martyr Abd-Al-Fatah Radad, which [represents the] “Al-Jama’ah Al-Islamiyah”* of the Islamic Jihad* movement…

The “Al-Wafa” [“The Loyalty”] group, which represents a coalition of the Hamas* movement with the Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine]*.  [Al-Ayyam, April 27, 2006].

G. Hamas at Ramallah district branch

“Today a debate will be organized… between the groups competing over the seats of the “Al-Quds” Open University student council, in the Ramallah-Al-Bira district…

Five student groups are competing in this election:

The group named after the Martyr Yasser Arafat, which is representing the Fatah movement.

The “Falastin Al-Muslimah” group, representing Hamas*.

The group named after Martyr Rassan Kanafani, which represents the Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine]*.

The group named after Amar Al-Kassem, representing the Democratic Front [for the Liberation of Palestine]*.

The Progressive student union group.” [Al-Ayyam, April 27, 2006]

H. Hamas at Yata and Dora branches

“Director of the “Al-Quds” Open [University branch] in the town of Yata, Kamal Khalil, clarified that the competition for the 21 seats in the council, has narrowed to three [competing] student groups, which are:

“The Al-Aqsa Martyrs*” [The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades are the military wing of Fatah]  [“Al-Kutlah] Al-Islamiyah”* [of Hamas]*

[The group named after] Ahmad Sa'adat, supporting the Popular [front for the Liberation of Palestine]*.

Sources in the “Al-Quds” Open [University] at the town of Dora said… … three student groups are taking part [in elections]: “The Al-Aqsa Martyrs”*.

[“Al-Kutlah] Al-Islamiyah”* [of Hamas]*
[The group named after] Rassan Kanafani.”
[Al-Ayyam, April 27, 2006]

Part 2: The Al Quds Open University activities include terror promotion

A. Al-Quds University in January of 2007 designated a full week in honor of Yahya Ayyash, the Hamas leader and father of suicide terror known as "the engineer," who built the first suicide bombs in the mid 1990s and trained the first generation of suicide bomb builders. The following is the report in the PA daily:

“The ‘Al-Kutlah Al-Islamiyyah’ [of Hamas] in the Al-Quds Open University in Nablus inaugurated yesterday the Shahid Engineer Yahya Ayyash Week. This took place on the 11th anniversary of his death as a Shahid [Martyr]. The director of the [university's] Nablus educational region, Dr. Yusuf Dhiyab, some academics and university administration and a large crowd of students attended the opening ceremony. [The ceremony] began… with a message from the university administration, by Dr. Yusuf Dhiyab, who discussed Shahids and the mark that the Shahids left on the history of the Palestinian nation and how they succeeded in uniting the nation …

Dr. Dhiyab thanked [the Hamas group] ‘Al-Kutlah Al-Islamiyyah’ for the organizing of the [Yahya Ayyash] Week…

The university representative of ‘Al-Kutlah Al-Islamiyyah’ spoke… The speaker said: “The Shahid Engineer Yahya Ayyash Week, takes place on the day of his death as a Martyr. This because of Al-Kutla’s belief that the Martyrs are those that illuminate the way…”

The speaker also mentioned the Martyr Yahya Ayyash: “He taught the world how the Jihad will be. It was he who directed the Palestinian people and the Islamic and Arab nation on a new way of Jihad and resistance and it is through Martyrdom-seeking operations [Authors’ note: i.e. suicide terror attacks]…”

The last speech was by the son of the Martyr Yahya Ayyash, Baraa, who spoke about the virtues of his father and about the impression he made on the souls of the Palestinian people when he brought the Jihad to life." [Al Quds, January 14, 2007]

B. Hamas and Islamic Jihad campus activity promoting Martyrdom

"The campaigns began yesterday in the Tul-Karem district, for “Al-Quds” Open University student council elections…

The “Jerusalem and the Return” group emphasized, during an election rally, the [need] to follow the footsteps of the Martyred leaders, headed by the late Martyr Yasser Arafat, Abu-Amar, and Abu-Jihad…

The group named after the Martyr Abd Al-Fattah Radad emphasized, during an election rally, that the only way to reach freedom is through the Shahada [Martyrdom] and the Martyrs. The group mentioned the Martyrs from among the members of the Islamic Jihad* movement...

During an election rally of “The Loyalty” group… Hamas* and Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine]* songs were played… The songs mentioned the martyred leaders of the two groups, starting with Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rantisi [of Hamas], Sheik Ahmad Yassin [of Hamas], and Abu-Ali Mustafa [of Islamic Jihad].” [Al-Ayyam, April 27, 2006].

C. Al Quds University campuses used by terror groups to openly promote terror

“The Shabiba student [movement] of “Al-Quds” Open University in Hebron marked the anniversary of the revolution [establishment of Fatah]...

Student Mohammad Al-Tamizi spoke on behalf of the [student] council union… He noted that all the members and leaders of the [Fatah] movement were always potential Martyrs for freedom and independence… During the ceremony, a speech was delivered in the name of the Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades* [Fatah terror wing, which has executed numerous acts of suicide terror]. The speaker emphasized that the Brigades will continue the struggle against the Israeli occupation until [it reaches] liberation and independence through the rifle of resistance [Authors’ note: their term for terror] and liberation.” [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, January 3, 2006]

“The student council of the Al-Quds Open University [branch] in Rafah organized yesterday a mass rally commemorating the 18th memorial of the death as a Martyr of the “Prince of Martyrs”, Khalil Al-Wazir - Abu-Jihad *... Abd Al-Hakim Awad, head of the Fatah “Shabiba” organization… called to carry on the resistance [Authors’ note: i.e. terror] and the Intifada with in all its ways and means." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 20, 2006]

D. Al Quds Open University Hamas student leader participates in Hamas event with senior Hamas leaders

“The Hamas* movement organized a rally… Sheik Mahir Kharaz spoke on behalf of Hamas* movement… He emphasized the words of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, that the Palestinian people will eat olives and Za’atar and will not abandon the national principles.

Kharaz addressed the enemies of Hamas, saying that the Hamas* movement is a decree from Allah on the face of the earth, and no one can destroy it or subdue it. He rejected the pressure calling to recognize Israel...

He warned Israel, America, and Europe, saying that if they block the government's path, stop aid to our people, and prevent the government from fulfilling its mission, then the whole area will collapse, because Hamas* has not given up the resistance [Authors’ note: i.e. terror] and it can raise Martyrs and leaders.

Head of the Al-Kutlah Al-Islamiyah* group [of Hamas*] in the “Al-Quds” Open University Ahmad Shrim,... vowed to stand behind the [Hamas] government." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 29, 2006]

E. Al Quds University campuses used to glorify terrorists and Shahids (Martyrs)

“The [Fatah] Shabiba movement organized yesterday a ceremony at the Al-Quds Open University [branch] in the city [of Qalqilya], for “Palestinian Prisoner's Day” and commemorating the anniversary of the death as a Martyr of “Prince of the Martyrs,” Khalil Al-Wazir Abu-Jihad.”0020[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 20, 2006]

“’Al-Jama’ah Al-Islamiyah*, the student structure of the Islamic Jihad* movement in the ‘Al-Quds’ Open University in the Jenin educational district, organized yesterday a mass rally commemorating the fourth anniversary of the battle in the Jenin refugee camp, and the fifth anniversary of the assassination of the Martyr Iyad Al-Hardan, one of the prominent leaders of the Al-Quds Brigades* [armed wing of Islamic Jihad*] …

The spokesperson of the ‘Al-Jama’ah Al-Islamiyah’ elaborated about the Jenin [refugee] camp battle, and the role of the Martyr Iyad Al-Hardan*, commander of the Al-Quds Brigades* in the West-Bank, who established the core of the military wing and strengthened the base for Jihad and Martyrdom-Seeking [Authors’ note: suicide terror] in Jenin…” [Al-Ayyam, April 16, 2006]

“The ‘Shabiba’ student movement at the ‘Al-Quds’ Open University [branch] in Bethlehem and Beit-Sahur held exhibitions [expressing] vows and loyalty to the Martyrs and the prisoners, in honor of ‘Prisoner’s Day’…” [Al-Ayyam, April 16, 2006]

"Yesterday an assembly was held in the city of Hebron marking a year since the assassination of the founder of the Islamic Resistance Movement "Hamas*", Sheik Ahmed Yassin", and its leader Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rantisi.
The assembly was organized by the Islamic Block [of Hamas*] in the "Al-Quds" Open University in the city… Taysir Abu Sakur of the university administration… commemorated the Martyrs of our nation… and swore to them to march in their ways... speaking at the assembly were from the student bodies and various national factions.”
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 22, 2005]

"Yesterday, the "Al-Quds" Open University in Hebron organized a mass assembly on the anniversary of the death as a Martyr of the leader, Khalil Al-Wazir “Abu Jihad”. The assembly was organized by the university student council." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 10, 2005]

"Yesterday, the student movement "Shabiba" and the student council of the "Al-Quds" Open University in the learning center of Dora opened the exhibition of "Loyalty to the Blood of the Heroic Martyrs". In the opening ceremony, Dr. Shahir Hajjah, the director of the learning center, was present… The exhibition includes a section of pictures of the late Martyr President "Abu Amar" and pictures of Martyrs from the Al-Aqsa Intifada..." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 10, 2005]

F. Al Quds University organizes off-campus activities to glorify Shahids (Martyrs) and terrorists

“The youth group of the Tul Karem culture [club]… won the cup in the tournament named after the Martyr leader Yasser Arafat. The tournament was organized by the “Al-Quds” Open University, on the [sport] field in Shuwaykah… The contending teams were: The “Al-Quds” Open University team… and the Shuwaykah team named after Martyr Fadi Bahati…” [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, January 17, 2005]
[Bahati was a leader of Islamic Jihad in Nablus, a member of a terror cell, explosives expert, and a bomb maker, sent terrorists to suicide attacks in Israel]

"Yesterday, the Student Action Front in the Al-Quds Open University organized a march of boy scouts in the research center of Tubas…
Hundreds of children participated in the march carrying flags of Palestine and pictures of many Martyrs, until they reached the Martyrs cemetery ...

The march was held under the slogan of "The path of freedom is dipped in blood"…" [Al-Ayyam, August 16, 2005.]

"In the town of Abu Dis, the Shabiba, with cooperation of the Abu Dis youth club organization, is organizing … a sporting event in the stadium of the Al-Quds University, to commemorate the anniversary of the death as a Martyr of the leader Abu-Jihad*... the son of the leader Martyr, Jihad Al-Wazir, is expected to be at the event." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 20, 2005]

G. Al Quds Open University grounds used by terrorist groups to promote terror. Members of university administration participate in events.

"Yesterday, the student movement “Shabiba" and the Student Union Council of "Al-Quds" Open University in the city of Nablus organized a ceremony in memory and loyalty to the Martyr, leader and president, Yasser Arafat, and to the Martyr and leader of students Abd Al-Nasir Al-Badawi … The ceremony took place in the campus square that was filled with pictures of Martyrs…

Masked people spoke in the name of the Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades*...

The president of the university, Dr. Yunus Amru, emphasized…that the Martyrs are the compass of the nation...

Chairman of the Student Council of the Al-Najah University, Hasan Sanakirah, spoke, and emphasized the role of the Martyrs in the creation of the history of this glorious nation. He said that the Martyr Al-Badawi followed the path of his brother the Martyr leader Yasser, a student in “Al-Najah” University and founder of the Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigade*." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, January 25, 2005]

Headline: “A Hamas* rally at the Al-Quds Open University in Tul Karem”

“The “Al-Kutlah Al-Islamiyah”* group at the “Al-Quds” Open University in Tul Karem organized a mass rally…in the university campus… Representatives from the student union and the Al-Quds Open University administration, supporters of “Al-Kutlah Al-Islamiyah”* in the Al-Quds Open University, and a large crowd of students [attended the rally]… Later, there was also a demonstration of resistance people [Authors’ note: fighters=terrorists] carrying green flags [of Hamas*] and calling out in support of the right of resistance [Authors’ note: terror]. [Picture shows masked men with uniforms, waving Hamas* flags].” [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, December 29, 2005]

H. Al Quds University administration participate with Hamas leaders in Hamas student event on university property and grounds

"Yesterday, the Al-Kutlah Al-Islamiyah – The students group of Hamas* in the Open University "Al-Quds", organized the "Knights of Palestine" ceremony to commemorate the graduates of the university… the ceremony was held… in Nablus… Director of the Open University "Al-Quds" for Nablus region, Dr. Yusuf Dhiyab,… thanked the Al-Kutlah Al-Islamiyah for the ceremony…At the end of the ceremony, Dr. Muhammad Ghazal, Sheik Taysir Umran, Sa’id Duwaykat and Sheik Mahir Al-Kharaz, of the Hamas* leadership and the wife of the Martyr commander, Jamal Mansur, in addition to representatives of the university administration and the Islamic Block, participated in giving out diplomas and Shields of Appreciation to the graduates." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 24, 2005]

I. Al-Quds Open University campus used to promote anti American hatred

"During a symposium organized yesterday by the "Al-Quds" Open University the northern learning district of Gaza in cooperation with the National Direction Commission... A member of the political department of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine*, Jamil Al-Majdalawi, said: ‘It is our obligation to turn the process of elections into a campaign against the occupation and against the American plan, especially since the U.S. wants to turn the election in its favor and wants to reorganize our nation and institutions in a way that fits U.S. plans.’”
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 20, 2005]

J. On-campus violence erupts in the student council between Fatah student group and Hamas student group

“The National and Islamic Forces in Rafah condemned the unfortunate events which recently took place in the Al Quds Open University during which three students were injured and university property sustained heavy damage... Three students were injured during a shooting inside the campus last Saturday ... The clash broke out after the student council, affiliated with Fatah, prevented activists from the Al-Kutlah Al-Islamiyyah [of Hamas] from distributing information flyers on campus. This caused a verbal confrontation which then became a fist fight, and later turned into a heavy exchange of fire.” [Al-Ayyam, December 27, 2005]

Part 2B:
Denying Israel's right to exist

A. The symbol of the Al Quds Open University student council shows how explicitly the student body distances itself from a potential peace with Israel. The Student Council uses as its symbol the most explicit expression of the ideology of the terror organizations seeking Israel's destruction. The symbol anticipates the destruction of Israel by showing the map of Israel covered completely by the colors of the PLO flag.

"The Al-Quds Open University Student Councils Union"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, December 12, 2005]

B. Denial of Israel right to exist expressed at campus event by Al Quds University Vice President

"A mass assembly was organized by the "Shabiba" organization of the Fatah and the student council of "Al-Quds" Open University in Khan Yunes…

The vice president of “Al-Quds” Open University for the districts of Gaza, Dr. Adnan Qas, emphasized that all the evidence and historical sources refute any right the Jews have in the Palestinian lands [Authors’ note: Israel] especially in the city of Jerusalem." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 19, 2005]

Part 3: Numerous suicide terrorists came from PA universities

The student branches of the terror organizations are not merely for political identification, but are active terror branches. Numerous suicide terrorists have come from these student council members, including at least one from Al-Quds Open University:

A. Ramiz Abu Salim

Hamas activist and a student at Al-Quds Open University branch in Al-Birah. Carried out a suicide attack at Cafe Hillel in Jerusalem September 9, 2003, in which seven Israelis were murdered and about 20 injured.

B. Ihab Abdul-Qadir Mahmud Abu Salim

Member of Al-Kutlah Al-Islamiyyah (Hamas) at Bir Zeit University. Carried out a suicide attack at Zerifin September 9, 2003, in which eight Israelis were murdered and about 20 injured.

C. Daya Muhammad Hussein Al-Tawil

Engineering student at Bir Zeit University and a member of Al-Kutlah Al-Islamiyyah (Hamas). Carried out a suicide attack at the French Hill junction in Jerusalem March 27, 2001, in which 29 Israelis were injured.

D. Ramiz Ubaid

Student and a member of Al-Jama’ah Al-Islamiyyah (Islamic Jihad) at Bir Zeit University. Carried out a suicide attack at Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv March 3, 1996, in which 13 Israelis were murdered and 118 injured.

E. Hamid Abu Hajlah

Engineering student and a member of Al-Kutlah Al-Islamiyyah (Hamas) at Al-Najah University. Carried out a suicide attack in Netanya on January 1, 2001, in which three Israelis were injured.

F. Mahmud Shuraytakh

Chairman of Al-Kutlah Al-Islamiyyah (Hamas) and of the Student Council at Bir Zeit University. Planned a suicide attack on a bus in Tel Aviv September 19, 2002, in which six Israelis were murdered and 71 injured.

G. Muhammad Al-Rul
Hamas activist and a student at Al-Najah University. Carried out a suicide attack in Jerusalem June 18, 2002, in which 19 Israelis were murdered and 42 injured.

Part 4: Terror promotion and anti-American activities in other universities receiving USAID assistance

A. The Al-Najah University in Nablus, which also hosts and sponsors branches of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, held a symposium in February 2007 for its law students, faculty and administration, condemning the trial of Saddam Hussein and the American role in the trial. USAID assistance to Al-Najah since 2004 is intended for the university’s faculty of law.

"The public relations department in the Al-Najah University in Nablus organized yesterday a symposium named 'The trial of the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, and the American role in this trial – a witness testimony from the courthouse.' The head of the university’s public relations department, Dr. Nabil Alawi and the American lawyer, Curtis Dobler, participated in the symposium that Al-Najah University organized… with the presence of students from the law faculty and members of the teaching staff and the administrative staff of the university. Dobler… focused on two central points in the trial, which are: The trial’s illegality, which took place under the American occupation of Iraq in order to convict Saddam and his assistants, and the vindictive results the trial reached... He further said: “Saddam Hussein’s defense team gave to the courthouse, on November 20, 2006, a memorandum of 300 pages which confirms the illegality of this trial, since it took place during the period of the illegal American occupation of Iraq”… The American lawyer explained: “Saddam did for the Iraqis a kind of justice and encouraged them to fight against the American occupation of their country, in his death.” [Al-Ayyam, Feb. 12, 2007]

B. Al-Najah, Bir Zeit and Al-Azhar universities all have branches of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and receive USAID assistance.

The Arkan law school program, funded by USAID, is meant to develop the faculties of law in these three universities along with Al-Quds.

"The “Arkan” program, funded by the US, and the faculty of law in the Al-Najah University signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday… which, in its framework, there will be a co-operation between the two sides in order to develop the law education in the university… The “Arkan” program includes two central focal points: the first being the development of law education in the Palestinian faculties of law… in the Al-Quds, Bir Zayt, Al-Najah and Al-Azhar universities… The “Arkan” program for strengthening the rule of law stretches over a three-year period. Its operation began in September 2004. The program is carried out by the international company “Kimonex”… entirely funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a total of four million dollars." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 22, 2005]


For a number of years, US lawmakers have been trying to distance US foreign aid from terror infrastructures, terrorist-honoring activities and anti-American activities in the PA. However, it has proven to be nearly impossible, given the overwhelmingly positive standing of terror and its legitimization as "resistance" within the PA, the acceptability of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in all areas of society and the widespread anti-American propaganda. Clearly, tighter restrictions are necessary if US aid is going to be effective in reducing terror in PA society.

Making Congress's goal even more difficult is that USAID seems to be intentionally bypassing the explicit legislative prohibition of funding educational institutions that support terror, by putting US money into infrastructures -- "in-kind assistance" – instead of giving them cash grants. US law, however, prohibits any direct assistance to terror-supporting institutions. This attempt by USAID to bypass the law by purchasing and building infrastructures seems to be in violation of US law. If it could somehow be interpreted to be within the law, Congress should consider closing this loophole.

Today's USAID policy of giving millions of dollars in scholarships to students at PA universities, knowing that the real beneficiaries are the terror-facilitating anti-American universities, likewise seems to be undermining the intention of American legislation. If the objective is to ensure that US money is not supporting terror infrastructures, then the policy of sending millions of dollars to universities that support terror is flawed, even if it is packaged as student grants.

The US objective has been to stimulate significant change in PA society by making it financially detrimental to support terror. Today the US has to decide whether to approve this USAID policy of funding terror infrastructures via the students, or to force universities to choose between American aid and the terror branches.


USAID Provides Scholarships to over 2,000 Palestinian Students
USAID Press release on September 18, 2006.

Abu Dis, West Bank - In a ceremony at the Abu Dis campus of Al Quds University, representatives of the U.S. government announced a $2.4 million scholarship fund to assist over 2,000 students during this academic year. The scholarships, awarded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), were announced by Deputy Principal Officer Thomas Duffy. Dr. Hassan Dweik, Vice President of Al-Quds University, opened the event, during which university President, Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, and USAID Acting Director David Harden also spoke. During his remarks, Dr. Nusseibeh thanked the U.S. government for this significant assistance to the students and the university.

For his part, Mr. Duffy praised the contributions Al Quds University has made to educating generations of Palestinians and their cooperation with universities throughout the world. He noted that Al Quds University is internationally recognized as a strong academic institution.

The $2.4 million USAID contribution will fund the studies of needy Palestinian undergraduates with high academic achievements. Simultaneously, USAID is providing Al Quds University with $100,000 of in-kind assistance through the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) to furnish 22 new lecture halls, 42 faculty offices, a computer lab and an auditorium.

The new scholarships are part of USAID's four-year Higher Education Support Initiative, managed by the Academy for Educational Development (AED). Launched in 2002, the $15 million program has provided training and education opportunities to hundreds of Palestinian students in local and U.S universities and colleges to prepare the next generation of leaders and managers.

During 2005, USAID's education assistance improved libraries in nine private universities in the West Bank and Gaza, by supplying library equipment, 10,000 books in Arabic and English, and by designing an on-line library catalogue. It also upgraded computer labs at 16 private community colleges and provided scholarships for Palestinian students in technical colleges.

Since 1993, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have received more than $1.7 billion in U.S. economic assistance via USAID projects - to combat poverty, improve health and education, create jobs and promote good governance.

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