Israel designated (June 19, 2014) the British-based NGO “Islam Relief Worldwide” (IRW) as an unlawful entity. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon explained the banning of its activity in Israel and the West Bank by saying that “Islam Relief Worldwide is one of the sources of Hamas’ funding and a means for raising funds from various countries in the world. We do not intend to allow it to function and abet terrorist activity against Israel.”
Ya’alon also said in his official statement that some of the charity’s chapters, including those in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, were run by Hamas members. The order empowers Israeli authorities to seize any funds the group might send to Palestinians in the West Bank.
In response Islamic Relief Worldwide published (June 19, 2014) the following statement:
“Islamic Relief Worldwide is surprised and extremely concerned by media reports that have appeared on June 19 2014 indicating that Israel has banned Islamic Relief Worldwide from operating in the West Bank because of alleged ties with Hamas.
“Islamic Relief Worldwide categorically denies having links with Hamas. We have 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. We cannot comment in detail on this matter until we hear directly from the relevant authorities.
“Islamic Relief Worldwide is one of the world’s most respected relief and development organisations, and has been working in the Palestinian territories for the past 16 years fully legally and with no impediment from the Israeli authorities.
“Islamic Relief Worldwide receives support from various UN agencies including UNICEF, WFP, FAO, UNDP, UNFPA and UNHCR and other institutional donors such as the European Commission, the European Commission Humanitarian Office and numerous government aid donors.”
According the official website of “Islamic Relief Canada” [Registration No. 821896875RR0001]:
“Islamic Relief Worldwide is a United Kingdom charity that serves as a catalyst, coordinator and implementer of the Islamic Relief family’s relief and development projects around the globe.
“Islamic Relief Worldwide has 15 legally separate and independent affiliates (also referred to as “partner offices”) around the world, located in: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Mauritius, Middle East, the Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States.”