Photo: Reuters
Hamas members in Gaza
Photo: Reuters

UK-Palestinian charity probed

British charity commission says to look into operations of controversial charity accused of directing funds to Palestinian charities linked to Hamas

British charity commission have said it will be looking into the operations of Interpal, a controversial British charity which has been accused of directing funds to Palestinian charities linked to Hamas.


Interpal was cleared of any wrong doings during an investigation by the CC in 2003, which was launched after the organization was branded a terrorist organization and had its funds frozen by the US treasury.


But in a BBC documentary screened last month, a CC official admitted that the investigations into Interpal had not been “in depth”.


Hamas link?


The Panorama program saw journalist John Ware visit a number of charities in the West Bank and Gaza funded by Interpal and revealed some of these charities are linked to Hamas and help build support for the movement by spreading its Islamist ideology.


In the program, entitled Faith, Hate and Charity, Interpal categorically denied it is helping to build support for the Hamas movement behind the banner of humanitarian aid.


The charity was even the recipient of a high profile television program, Celebrity Big Brother, when left wing MP George Galloway raised money for it.


Following the documentary, the CC said it would reopen investigations into Interpal.


New investigation


A statement from the CC said: “The BBC Panorama program Faith, Hate and Charity, first shown on Sunday 30 July, commented on the Charity Commission’s investigations into the charity known as Interpal.


“The Commission investigated the affairs of Interpal in both 1996 and 2003 looking into concerns that its funds might have been misappropriated for the activities of Hamas.”


The statement said that the Panorama program “has raised a number of new issues.”


“We will ask the BBC to share with us details of the evidence presented by the program so that we can assess it. We will urgently review the appropriate next steps to take and intend to meet with the Interpal trustees to discuss our concerns and their response as soon as possible.


“Once we’ve assessed the information and the trustees’ response, we will decide whether a new inquiry into this issue is required.”


The Commission will also seek a meeting with Interpal trustees before deciding whether a new inquiry is necessary.


Reprinted with permission of the European Jewish Press


פרסום ראשון: 08.16.06, 11:37
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