Israeli group agrees to delay court action against alleged Palestinian terror front


SYDNEY (JTA) – Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center has agreed to postpone litigation against an Australian charity it accuses of being a front for a Palestinian terror organization.

On Sunday, Executive Council of Australian Jewry chief executive Peter Wertheim brokered talks between representatives of Shurat HaDin and World Vision Australia.

"Several ideas have been put forward with a view to achieving a resolution of the issues," Wertheim said Monday in a statement.

Shurat HaDin had given World Vision Australia until Oct. 15 to stop funding the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, which it claimed in a dossier released last week “was established by, is controlled by, shares assets with and is operated in concert with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.”

While the ideas are under discussion, Shurat HaDin has agreed to postpone launching any legal proceedings, the statement said. Both parties were urged not to make any further public comments while mediation is underway.

World Vision Australia, which since 2005 has aided the Union of Agricultural Work Committees in Gaza with more than $1 million from AusAID, the federal government’s foreign aid agency, denies the charges and says it has "no interest in supporting terrorism."

“I can assure you that if such evidence [of ties to the PFLP] is forthcoming, we will not hesitate to act swiftly upon it,” World Vision Australia chief executive Tim Costello wrote to Shurat HaDin lawyers in late September.

Shurat HaDin had threatened to launch action in the Federal Court of Australia under the Charter of the United Nations Act, an Australian law that makes funding a proscribed terror organization a crime.


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