Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC)
July 8, 2008

For annotated and illustrated version:

The war on financing terrorism: Defense Minister Ehud Barak signed an order
outlawing 36 global “Union of Good” Islamic funds which raise money for
Hamas institutions in the Palestinian Authority-administered territories.
The money supports Hamas in building a political alternative to the PA a

maintain a terrorism-supporting system.

For illustrations:

Part of a document seized by the IDF in Operation Defensive Shield (2002):
the Union of Good table lists the names of suicide bombers who carried out
mass-casualty attacks against the Israeli population. The document was used
for arranging payments to the terrorists’ families through the
Hamas-affiliated Islamic “charitable society” Al-Tadhamun in Nablus..

1. Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently signed an order declaring 36
global Islamic funds and foundations as illegal associations. These belong
to an umbrella organization called the Union of Good (See the Appendix for a
list of the Islamic funds and foundations and the text of the order.). They
were outlawed as belonging to Hamas’s fund-raising system, which supports
the extensive activities of its civilian infrastructure (the da’wah ) in
Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. The funds transfer tens of millions of
dollars a year to Hamas institutions in the PA-administered territories.
Based on an Israel Security Agency report, in 2007 approximately
$120,000,000 was transferred to Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip to finance
terrorist organization activity, about 30% of which was earmarked for
financing Hamas’s da’wah . 1
2. Outlawing the foundations was the most comprehensive and extensive action
ever taken by Israel against the global network supporting Hamas. The order
is the latest in a series outlawing the Union of Good and Islamic funds and
foundations belonging to it and institutions affiliated with Hamas. Some of
the institutions included in previous orders were the British Interpal, the
European branches of the Al-Aqsa, the American Holy Land Foundation, the
Saudi Arabian World Assembly of Muslim Youth, and others in France , Holland
, Italy , Denmark and Sweden
. According to the ISA report, “without a doubt
the comprehensiveness of order is significant, and will it obligate the
banking and financial systems in Israel and abroad to coordinate their
actions and take extreme care to avoid prosecution in criminal and civil
suits filed by victims of terrorism.” 2

The Union of Good
3. The Union of Good was established in October 2000 as an umbrella
organization for more than 50 Islamic funds and foundations around the
world. It was established ad hoc as a global financing operation to support
the Palestinians in the PA-administered territories
. Its activity began a
short time after the second Palestinian terrorist campaign (“the Al-Aqsa
intifada”) began as an operation limited to 101 days. The campaign’s success
led to the founding of the Union of Good, which continues operating to this
day, using a wide variety of means to transfer funds which for the most part
reach Hamas institutions
in the PA-administered territories. Its support of
Hamas led it to being outlawed by the Israeli Defense Minister in 2002.
Documents seized by the IDF clearly show that the PA also regards the Union
of Good as supporting Hamas. 3

Hamas’s main sources of funds 4
For illustrations:

Transferring money to finance terrorism in the PA-administered territories 5
For illustrations:

4. The Hamas leadership was involved in the Union of Good’s establishment .
The Union is a global mixture of designated Hamas and radical Islamic funds
and foundations. The large amounts of money it transfers to the
PA-administered territories reach, for the most part, Hamas’s civilian
infrastructure (the da’wah
). In that way the Union of Good aids Hamas in
its efforts to strengthen its foothold and popularity in Palestinian society
and, after its takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, to develop itself as
a political alternative to the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria .
In addition, the money sent to the civilian infrastructure is used to
support terrorism, including suicide bombing terrorism, as can easily be
seen from the documents seized by the IDF. It has recently become clear that
Union of Good funds and foundations also raise money for the activities of
the Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip.

For illustrations:

A seized document (with additional documents appended 6) signed by Rashid
Abu Shubaq, who was head of Palestinian Preventive Security in the Gaza
Strip. The memorandum deals with the Union of Good, calling it one of
Hamas’s largest donors.

5. The chairman of the board of the Union of Good is Sheikh Dr. Yussuf
al-Qardawi , one of the most important Muslim clerics of our time. Egyptian
by birth, he was forced to leave in the 1970s and now lives in Qatar .
extremist opinions regarding Israel are well-known, and for Hamas is a
supreme religious authority even though he is not Palestinian. In the past
he issued Islamic religious edicts ( fatwas) calling for jihad against
Israel and the Jews and sanctioning suicide bombing attacks . In March 2002,
shortly after women began carrying out suicide bombing attacks, he was the
first to issue a fatwa allowing such actions. 7 As a senior Islamic
authority and head of the Union of Good, he has provided religious Islamic
justification for transferring funds meant for charity to terrorist
organizations such as Hamas, as an expression of “financial jihad.”

For illustrations:
A fatwa issued by Dr. Yussuf al-Qardawi relating to the participation of
women in suicide bombing attacks (Palestine-info website, November 18,

6. A prominent member of the board of trustees is Essam Yussuf , the
secretary general, who is also a dominant figure in Interpal, Hamas’s
designated fund in Britain , which was outlawed by Israel in May 1997 and
declared a terrorist organization in January 1998. 8 Another prominent
figure is the Union of Good’s second-in-command, Field Marshal ‘Abd
al-Rahman Siwar al-Dhahab , former Sudanese president, who heads an Islamic
organization dealing with the da’wah in Africa .
Other members of the board
of trustees are prominent Islamic activists, among them Sheikh Hamid
al-Bitawi , a Hamas activist in Nablus and chairman of Al-Tadhamun
(“solidarity”) “charitable society” (outlawed by Israel in 2002 for its ties
to Hamas); Shiekh Ra’ed Salah , head of the northern faction of the Islamic
movement in Israel; and Sheikh Ikrimah Sabri , the Mufti of Jerusalem, a
radical who preaches jihad and suicide bombing attacks.
Hamas’s civilian infrastructure: the da’wah
7. In Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip Hamas maintains an extensive network
of civilian institutions called the da’wah . It includes dozens of
“charitable societies,” educational, financial and other institutions,
mosques, women’s and workers’ unions, and sports groups. The da’wah is
Hamas’s main source of power and what makes it different from other
terrorist and Islamic organizations in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
Hamas’s da’wah institutions were outlawed by Israel for being an integral
part of Hamas and for supporting terrorism.
8. The da’wah has two main functions:
i) It provides the population with educational, religious, welfare, health
and other services, exploiting the weakness and helplessness of the PA,
which should be providing them. In that way Hamas gains popular support,
reinforces is ability to stand firm in a violent confrontation with Israel
and establishes a political power base which weakens the PA. That enables
Hamas to establish itself as a potential future alternative to the PA in
Judea and Samaria as well.
ii) Supporting terrorism is reflected in the following ways :
1) The da’wah uses ” education,” preaching, inciting the populace to
terrorism and violence and spreads radical Islamic propaganda within the
battle for hearts and minds. Hamas achieves that through its independent
education system, by infiltrating Hamas teachers into the PA’s educational
system, acquiring influence over mosques throughout the PA-administered
territories, issuing printed material and using various methods to brainwash
Palestinian society with its ideology. Hamas’s propaganda activities,
permitted or tolerated by the PA, have raised an entire generation whose
only knowledge of Islam is Hamas’s militant-radical variety, which preaches
the destruction of the State of Israel through armed confrontation. Those
Palestinian youngsters will take their place in the ranks of Hamas, either
as political-social activists or as terrorist operatives.
2) The da’wah supports Hamas’s terrorist operatives (wanted terrorists,
prisoners, and the wounded) and the families of “shaheeds,” including
suicide bombing terrorists. That is done directly, with cash payments, or
indirectly, through health, welfare, religious and educational services,

The Union of Good support for summer camps in the Gaza Strip

For illustrations:

An Internet posting from the Gaza Strip dated July 6 about the Union of Good’s
sponsorship of more than 100 summer camps in the Gaza Strip, whose motto is
“Standing firm despite the blockade” (the Union of Good’s website, July 8,
2008). Most of the camps are organized by Hamas’s civilian infrastructure
(the da’wah) , and brainwash young children with Hamas radical Islamic
ideology which includes the support for terrorism and hatred for the Jewish
people and Israel. In the past such camps were exploited as semi-military
training camps for adolescents.

Pictures from summer camp, summer 2008
For illustrations:

Pictures from summer camps run by Hamas-affiliated societies. Left: Camp run
by the Dar al-Qur’an society where segregated groups of young men and women
memorize the Qur’an. Center: Hamas administration prime minister Ismail
Haniya visiting a summer camp in Khan Yunis. Right: The group named after
“shaheed” Ismail Abu Shanab, one of the Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip, who
died in a targeted killing in August 2003. The group belongs to a summer
camp run by Hamas’s Islamic Association. 9

3) The da’wah supports Hamas’s routine activities in the PA-administered
territories by providing funds for political activity, its media,
“information” and propaganda networks in the PA-administered territories and
beyond, and by providing financial services. Sometimes, in our assessment,
the da’wah funds are also trickle into its military-terrorist networks .
4) The da’wah supports Hamas activists in the PA-administered territories,
including those connected to its operative networks, by creating employment
for them (and sometimes for their families) in the many “charitable
societies” and institutions which form its civilian infrastructure. Thus
Hamas has legal camouflage for its activities (including in its dealings
with the PA, to which according to law its civilian institutions are
subordinate, including the “charitable societies” and mosques).

The “education” provided by the Hamas-affiliated kindergartens run
by the Islamic Association

For illustrations:
Left : A child dressed as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah giving a speech.
Right : Carrying toy guns and burning the Israeli flag. The pictures are
from an end-of-the-year party held in 2001 at a kindergarten belonging to
Hamas’s Islamic Union in the Gaza Strip and posted on the Internet. This
year the Islamic Association is operating summer camps for adolescents,
sponsored by the Union of Good.

PA actions taken against Hamas’s civilian infrastructure

9. The PA is well aware of the extent and significance of Hamas’s civilian
infrastructure and that it has gained strength at the PA’s expense, creating
a Hamas entity developing into a radical Islamic alternative to the PA
itself. It is also aware that some of Hamas’s institutions (the mosques,
universities and student organizations) serve Hamas (and other terrorist
organizations) as recruiting grounds for terrorist operatives, including
suicide bombers. For that reason, the PA, before and during the violent
confrontation, kept close intelligence tabs on the activities of a
significant portion of such institutions, even though generally no
systematic action was taken against them.

10. The PA has contented itself with three short-lived attempts to deal with
Hamas’s civilian infrastructure, one in 1996, one between December 2001 and
April 2002, and one in August 2003. During those peak times the PA carried
out low-key activities against Hamas but fearing a direct confrontation, did
not take determined, effective action over a long period of time and its
efforts petered out after a promising beginning .

11. After the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip (June 2007) and the
heightened tension between Abu Mazen’s administration and the Hamas
administration, the PA increased its efforts to weaken Hamas’s civilian
influence (especially in the Nablus and Jenin districts) to prevent a
repetition of the Gaza scenario in Judea and Samaria . One sign of those
efforts were the Salam Fayyad government’s intensive actions taken during
the second half of 2007 against the “charitable societies” and other Hamas
da’wah institutions.

12. The PA disbanded the “charitable societies,” fired the Hamas activists
heading them, replaced workers, inspected the transfer and use of funds,
replaced preachers in the mosques and confiscated incitement material. The
Salam Fayyad government also passed an anti-money laundering law and decided
to disband 92 “charitable societies” operating in Judea and Samaria ,
uniting them with 11 societies supervised by the PA’s Ministry of Religious
Endowments. Hamas has often strongly objected to the measures. Their success
will depend on the willingness and capability of the PA to persist in
applying them.

The Defense Minister’s declaration of 36 funds and foundations belonging to
the Union of Good as illegal association (in accordance with the 1945
defense (emergency) regulations). 10
1. In accordance with regulation 84 (1) (B) of the 1945 defense (emergency)
regulations [hereafter regulations ] and having been convinced of its
necessity to protect state security and public welfare and order, I hereby
declare: The groups of individuals or organizations and associations listed
below, members of the Union of Good, are illegal associations as part of
Hamas, and regardless of the names they use, they are illegal associations
by virtue of the regulations.
2. The following organizations were outlawed:
List of banned organizations
1 . The Saudi Committee for the Relief of Palestinian People (Formerly the
Saudi Foundation for Support of the Al-Aqsa Intifada)
2. International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO)
3. Patients Helping Fund – The Administration Al-Qadisiyah the Medical
Committee ( Kuwait )
4. Makkah Charity Institution ( Saudi Arabia )
5. Mercy International ( Kuwait )
6. Zakat House ( Kuwait )
7. The Charitable Palestine Committee ( Kuwait )
8. Mohammed Bin Rashid Charity and Humanitarian Establishment ( Dubai )
9. Fujairah Charity Association (UAE)
10. The Sharga House of Charity (UAE)
11. UAE Red Crescent Society (UAE)
12. Al Islamic Society- The Charity Act ( Bahrain )
13. The Islamic Society ( Bahrain )
14. Sheikh Eid Bin Muhammad Al-Thani Charity Association ( Doha , Qatar )
15. The Charitable Qatar Society (including branches in the PA-administered
16. Palestine Qatar Committee for Relief in Palestine ( Doha , Qatar )
17. The Islamic Charitable Society to Help Al-Aqsa ( Yemen )
18. The Ansar Charitable Society in Sudan
19. The Islamic Dawah Association Sudan
20. Guidance And Reform Society ( Algeria )
21. The Movement for Unity and Reform ( Morocco )
22. The Charitable Committee of Islamic Help to the Palestinian People (
Amman , Jordan )
23. The Union of Good Lebanon (includes US charitable organization)
24. The International Islamic Council for Dawah and Relief ( Cairo , Egypt )
25. The Humanitarian Relief Committee Doctors Syndicate ( Cairo , Egypt )
26. The Reform Society ( Yemen )
27. Human Appeal International (UAE, Britain , Australia )
28. Humanitarian Relief Foundation ( Britain )
29. Muslim Hands ( Britain )
30. Muslim Aid / Educational Aid for Palestinians ( Britain )
31. Sanabil Al-Aqsa Charitable Foundation ( Sweden )
32. Foundation of Innocents / Innocents ( Norway )
33. Association de Secours Palestinien – ASP Relief For Palestine Society /
ASP / SHS / VUP ( Switzerland )
34. Palestine Association – PVOE/PHV ( Austria )
35. Al-Aqsa Foundation of South Africa / Al-Aqsa International Foundation
36. Insan Haklary Ve Hurriyetleri Vakfi (IHH) / International Humanitarian
Relief Organisation / Internationale Humanitere Hilfs Organisation (
Turkey )

Anyone holding property belonging to the aforementioned illegal
organizations is required to inform the Defense Minister through Arnon Ikan,
Senior Deputy to the Comptroller General of the Finance Ministry, tel.
02-5317506         or                02-5317434        .Anyone considering
himself harmed by this notice can lodge an objection in writing to the
Defense Ministry’s legal counsel within 14 days of receipt.

Ehud Barak,
Defense Minister,
July 7, 2008


1 Data taken from an ISA report about the order to outlaw 36 Islamic funds
belonging to the Union of Good (henceforth “the ISA report”).
2 Ibid .
3 Photostats of the documents can be found in the various appendices of the
February 2005 ITIC Bulletin entitled “The Union of Good: an umbrella
organization comprised of more than 50 Islamic charitable funds and
foundations worldwide” at .
The appendices are at .
4 From the ISA report
5 Ibid .
6 For pictures of the documents see our Bulletin about the Union of Good,
Appendix I.
7 For further information see Appendices F and G in our Bulletin about the
Union of Good at
8 For further information see our December 2004 Bulletin entitled about
Interpal at .
(Interpal is included in American Executive Order 13224, August 2003, which
ordered the freezing of the assets of individuals and bodies linked to
terrorist organizations.)
9 The Islamic Association (Al-Jamiyyah al-Islamiyyah) is an important Hamas
institution in the Gaza Strip. It is headed by Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Bahr , a top
Hamas activist in Gaza . Its activity includes indoctrinating young people
and it runs a large kindergarten network (for the quality of the education
the children receive, see below.) In early 2002 the PA closed the
Association’s offices but it continues operating, its activities financed by
donations from Islamic funds abroad.


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