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Money that Hamas claims is raised for charity is instead used for terror, warns Abdurrahman Bin Subaih Al Suwaidi.

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

A former Muslim Brotherhood moneyman’s disclosures about Hamas funding has triggered calls for the British government to take further measures against illicit terror funding.

The Hamas charter identifies itself as a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. The charter quotes Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan Al-Bana on Islam’s imperative to “obliterate” Israel.

The Brotherhood has branches and affiliated organizations in numerous countries in the Mideast, Europe and around the world, including the U.S. and Britain. It even has an Israeli branch, the Islamic Movement in Israel.

Abdurrahman Bin Subaih Al Suwaidi, a UAE national and the Brotherhood’s one-time director of funding, told London’s Jewish Chronicle that “millions of dirhams” (one million UAE dirhams is approximately $270,000) were given to charitable organizations, including Hamas.

Suwaidi’s interview was his first since being released from prison in the United Arab Emirates. In 2013, Suwaidi and more than 60 other Brotherhood members were arrested and convicted of trying to overthrow the government. Suwaidi and the others defected, saying the Brotherhood had kept them in the dark about the organization’s real agenda. Suwaidi was pardoned after serving three-and-half years of a 10-year sentence.

“Hamas says the money is for one thing, but [they] use it for something else. It’s the conflict between what Hamas talks and how Hamas walks,” Suwaidi told the Chronicle.

“We were polishing the leaders of Hamas with this money, making it seem they were doing charity work on the one hand, like building schools and sponsoring children, then, on the other, knowing what it was really being used for… but behind the scenes, we couldn’t really check.

“We supported the Taliban, groups in Bosnia, the Philippines, Chad, Djibouti, you name it. A lot of the money got into the wrong hands.”

When it came to fundraising for Hamas, Suwaidi said, “everything was done in cash so there were no traces of what we were doing as we couldn’t transfer directly.”

To Israel’s chagrin, Britain currently bans the Hamas “military wing” but not its “political wing, making it difficult for authorities to move against Hamas financing. European authorities face similar problems over the European Union’s refusal to blacklist Hezbollah in its entirety.

Caroline Turner of UK Lawyers for Israel told the Chronicle that Suwaidi’s disclosures demonstrate that British authorities must outlaw Hamas across the board.

“Terrorist organizations such as Hamas or Hezbollah do not have separate ‘political’ and ‘military’ wings. They should be proscribed in full and closed down in the UK and other countries,” she said.

The Brotherhood and Israel

The Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 by Bana, an Islamist with pan-Arab views. The Brotherhood is said to have received financial assistance from Nazi Germany, an allegation which Bana denied. As Zionism accelerated in 1948, the Brotherhood sent volunteers to the Holy Land to fight against Israel’s creation.

Bana was assassinated in December 1948, presumably by Egyptian authorities that outlawed the increasingly subversive movement.

The Brotherhood’s high point came in 2012, when Mohammed Morsi, head of the group’s Freedom and Justice Party, was elected president of Egypt. Within a year, Egyptians protested against an Islamist-packed assembly tasked with drawing up a constitution. Morsi was toppled in a military coup and the Brotherhood was again outlawed.

The Brotherhood has political parties in a number of countries, including Jordan, Algeria and Mauritania. It is also banned as a terror organization in Syria, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Russia. The terror organizations primary financial supporters are Turkey and Qatar.

In Israel, the Islamic Movement in Israel was split into the hardline Islamist “Northern Movement” and the more pragmatic “Southern Movement” over participation in the 1996 elections. Israel banned the Northern Movement in 2015 and arrested its leader, Sheikh Raed Salah, for inciting violence on the Temple Mount.

The Southern Movement, on the other hand, went into politics; in 2021, its Ra’am party, led by Mansour Abbas, became the first Arab party to join an Israeli governing coalition. Abbas denies his party has any links to terror and says if it did, Israeli authorities would have banned it.