Jerusalem bans Islamic Relief Worldwide charity for funding Hamas



Israel Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon declares the Muslim charity, Islamic Relief Worldwide @IRWorldwide as a terror organization

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, “We do not intend to allow it to function and abet terrorist activity against Israel.”

By Lilach Shoval, Shlomo Cesana, Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff


Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon signed an order on Thursday banning Islam Relief Worldwide. The organization is a source of funding for Hamas, and the ban would prohibit IRW from operating in Israel proper and Judea and Samaria.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon signed the order to ban Islam Relief Worldwide for their role in transferring funds to terrorist group Hamas – Photo: Reuters

“IRW is one of the sources of Hamas’ funding and a means for raising funds from various countries in the world,” Ya’alon said. “We do not intend to allow it to function and abet terrorist activity against Israel.”

The order empowers Israeli authorities to seize any funds the group might send to Palestinians in the West Bank, his ministry said in a statement.

Ya’alon said in the statement that some of the charity’s chapters, including those in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, were run by Hamas members.

“This is another one of the steps being taken against Hamas in the West Bank and the pressure we are putting on them,” Ya’alon said.

IRW said it had not been directly told of any sanctions against it but issued a statement on its website saying it was “surprised and extremely concerned” at the media reports.

“Islamic Relief Worldwide has heard nothing about this decision from the government of Israel or any official sources. All we know is what has been reported in the media,” it said.

Israel holds the terrorist group Hamas responsible for the kidnapping of three Israeli teens near Hebron last week. The Israeli army subsequently embarked on Operation Brother’s Keeper to find the abducted teens and punish Hamas in the West Bank.

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