Israel blacklists 163 foreign charities suspected of supporting terrorism
The Israel Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority has located 163 organizations contaminated with funds related to terrorism over the past three years, and issued specific orders prohibiting receiving money from them, Defense Ministry data shows.
Preventing terrorism funds from infiltrating Israel is one of the authority's stated goals, no matter for what purpose the funds are being transferred. The organization's investigators are in contact with similar international organizations in the UN and the United States, and their list totals 352 organizations. Bans issued by the authority are signed by either the defense minister or the security cabinet.
The proposed parliamentary committees of inquiry are meant to investigate the overseas financial sources of organizations allegedly damaging to Israeli soldiers, and check whether these sources are connected to terrorism. But it seems the authority has already done much of the committee's work.
For instance, the authority banned Israeli organizations from receiving money from Interpal, a British charity which says its aim is to provide Palestinians with humanitarian aid and meet their basic needs. The organization has a turnover of 5 million pounds a year. After a number of investigations on suspicion of serving as a channel for funding for Hamas, Interpal was blacklisted in Israel and is no longer allowed to hold activities in the country or transfer funds to Israel, and activists belonging to the organization will be arrested if they arrive here.
The Charity Commission for England and Wales found Israel provided no proof that Interpal was connected to terrorism, but ordered the charity to break contact with a number of other organizations.
Other blacklisted groups include the Islamic National Bank, which has opened in Gaza; the Palestinian Relief Society in Switzerland; Pakistani humanitarian organization Wafa; Pakistani trust fund Rabbit, which is believed to be associated with Al-Qaida; the Afghan Support Committee; a British-based company set up by five Libyan businessmen and suspected of organizing terrorism in Libya; the Al Taqwa Bank, based in the Bahamas with branches in Europe and suspected connections to the Muslim Brotherhood; and Qatar Charity, which has signed a multimillion sponsorship deal with the Barcelona soccer club. The Turkish organization IHH was banned after the flotilla raid in May.
Israeli organizations about to go under scrutiny have come across these prohibitions before. "We heard from someone in the United States that there was a Qatari organization ready to support clinics," said Hadas Ziv, in charge of public activity at Physicians for Human Rights. "We wanted to get money for them for that purpose, but we ran some checks and it turned out it was illegal to receive money from them in Israel. We abide by the law."