International Islamist charity Islamic Relief is to challenge its designation in Israel as a terrorist organization before an Israeli court, the Guardian reports.
Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) claims "the designation had left more than 70,000 Palestinians without vital support. It will argue that allegations linking it to the militant group Hamas were unfounded." IRW's chief executive is quoted claiming: "There is no credible evidence that we have seen."
Islamist Watch, however, has seen quite a bit. In fact, we have put together quite a bit of information showing Islamic Relief's ties to Hamas.
Islamist Watch's 2018 report on the radical charitable franchise's activities and history, for example, reveals close ties between the Islamist group and various proxies for the Palestinian terrorist organization.
In February 2015, for example, Islamic Relief UK, using Swedish monies, funded a project run by the Gaza-based Al-Falah Benevolent Society to provide aid to "displaced families." Al-Falah is run by senior Hamas figure, Ramadan Tamboura, along with Jamal Hamdi Al-Haddad, who manages a Hamas-run Hebrew language program for Palestinians in Gaza titled "Know Your Enemy."
Another key partner for Islamic Relief branches in Gaza has been the Gaza Zakat Committee, also known as the Islamic Zakat Society (IZS). IZS works closely with the Hamas government, and it is managed by a prominent Hamas preacher named Hazem Al-Sirraj, a former student of Hamas founder Sheikh Yassin.
Meanwhile, the founding luminary of Islamic Relief, Hany El Banna, openly consorts with Hamas activists. In 2016, he conducted a 45 minute interview to the Gaza-based Al-Aqsa Voice, the official radio station of the terrorist group, which openly broadcasts jihadist anthems, encourages "the spirit of sacrifice," and refers to its reporters as fighters in the jihadist struggle. In his interview, El-Banna discussed Islamic Relief's long history of involvement with the Gaza Zakat Committee, and urged "a strong coalition" between civil society organizations and Gaza's government [Hamas] "in order to repel any foreign ideas and malignant intrusions."
This latest attempt by Islamic Relief to push back against allegations of its terror links comes in the wake of a bad few weeks for the extremist charity.
On July 24, the director of IRW, Heshmat Khalifa, resigned after The Times reported he had referred to Hamas on his social media as "the purest resistance movement in modern history," and that he further denounced Jews as the "grandchildren of monkeys and pigs"
(Just last year, newspapers across the world covered our discovery that senior officials of Islamic Relief USA had made similarly violent anti-semitic comments.)
Meanwhile, another former senior Islamic Relief official, Jehangir Malik, has now left Muslim Aid (closely connected to the Islamist movement Jamaat-e-Islami) just months after staff rebelled against his leadership.
There is trouble, it seems, in the Islamist charity industry.
Surely Islamic Relief's decision to file legal challenges against its designation as a terrorist organization - especially in the wake of its anti-semitism scandal - can only draw further attention to its long history of radical and terrorist links? Such moves might perhaps lead yet more Western governments to back away from the extremist charitable franchise.