Defense Minister Signs Order Banning Hamas-affiliated Charitable
Communicated by the GPO – 7 July 2008

Where most Zakat money can go.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently signed an order declaring 36 funds
around the world, members of the “Union of Good” organization, to be banned
associations in Israel since they are part of Hamas’s fundraising network,
and both support and assist it.

This order, the broadest and most comprehensive ever issued in Israel, joins
a series of previous declarations against overseas charity organizations
that belong to ‘the Union of Good” and Hamas, including Interpal in the UK,
branches of the Al Aqsa Foundation in Europe, the Holy Land Foundation in
the US, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) in Saudi Arabia, and
additional foundations in Turkey, Qatar, South Africa, Austria, Jordan,
France, the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Sweden and other countries.

This is a significant step against the global network which assists Hamas in
raising funds.  The order outlaws a great number of bodies that are active
abroad and which are responsible for raising very large sums for Hamas
activities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

The “Union of Good” is, in effect, a roof organization for foundations
operated by Hamas around the world, especially in Europe and the Persian
Gulf countries.  It was outlawed by the Defense Minister in 2002 for its
massive support of Hamas.

The Union is composed of dozens of extremist Islamic foundations around the
world.  The WAMY is especially active in the Persian Gulf countries and in
Africa.  The activity of Hamas foundations in Europe are led by Interpal in
the UK, branches of the Al-Aqsa Foundation and the Committee for Welfare and
Aid for the Palestinians (CBSP) in France.

Dozens of foundations that are operated abroad by Hamas, most of which are
members of the Union of Good, along with dozens of Hamas charitable
associations active in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, form a well
organized and coordinated support network, that includes Hamas’s fundraising
arm abroad and the vital civilian and infrastructure networks in Judea,
Samaria and the Gaza Strip.  In this framework, tens of millions of dollars
per annum are transferred from the overseas foundations to Hamas
associations in the field.

Recently, it has become clear that Union-affiliated foundations are trying
to raise funds not only for Hamas charitable associations in Judea, Samaria
and the Gaza Strip, but for the activities of the Hamas government as well.
The Chairman of the Union of Good is the infamous Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

Several steps have been taken so far, in Israel and abroad, against
foundations, associations and activists connected to Hamas’s global
fundraising network, including the banning of the Al-Aqsa Foundation in
Germany and the Netherlands, the conviction of senior Islamic Movement
officials over their links with the Union for Good and Hamas foundations,
and the conviction of a Hamas-affiliated charity in A-Ram.

There is no doubt that this significant declaration will – in light of its
scope – require the Israeli and world banking and financial systems to
prepare accordingly and act with caution in order to avoid criminal actions
or civil lawsuits by victims of terrorism, such as that against the Arab
Bank, in the US.

IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis

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