UK’s Independent newspaper publishes donation call from Islamic Relief UK group that is suspected of funneling donations to terror groups like Hamas.
By Yakir Benzion, United with Israel
British newspaper The Independent published an op-ed by an Islamic organization that has been censured for its links to terrorism.
The April 10 appeal by Muneeb Abu-Ghazaleh, the Gaza Coordinator for Islamic Relief, described what he said would be a pending catastrophe if the coronavirus spreads in the Gaza Strip and called on readers to donate money to his organization.
Abu-Ghazaleh did not mention the word Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, in his article, nor did he explain how the Islamic terror group maintains an iron-fist rule over the enclave. Instead, he wrote that Gazans are “at the mercy of Israeli authorities” without informing readers that the Gaza-Egypt border crossing is Gaza’s main gateway to the world.
The Independent appears not to have taken into account the numerous times that Islamic Relief has been linked to terrorist organizations nor the fact that several countries and major organizations have cut their ties to the group.
In 2014 the United Arab Emirates put Islamic Relief on a list of banned groups over its alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood, the group that inspired and spawned Hamas.
Two years later, HSBC, the British multinational investment bank and financial services holding company, cut its ties to the organization, citing concerns that donations intended for aid could end up in the pockets of terrorist groups.
The Islamic group also got the attention of foreign governments. Bangladesh banned the group in 2016 over allegations that Islamic Relief donations were being used to encourage radicalism and fund terrorists. Last year, the government of Germany announced a review into official funding of Brotherhood-related groups, including Islamic Relief.
“It is a scandal that German taxpayers’ money is going to go to Islamists,” German parliamentarian Oliver Luksic told the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper at the time.
Israel also declared the group to be illegal in 2014, based on Islamic Relief’s alleged role in funneling money to Hamas, and banned it from operating in Israel and in Judea and Samaria. However, Hamas took over Gaza in a bloody 2007 coup, and Islamic Relief continues to operate there.
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