ZOA Hails Federal Action Against Hamas Front Group, “Holy Land Foundation For Relief And Development”
July 29, 2004

NEW YORK – Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America, today congratulated U.S. authorities for the indictment and arrest, on July 27, of five individuals who worked for the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), a major fundraising and political influence front for the terrorist organization Hamas. But he warned that more needs to be done to dismantle Arab terrorist financing and other support on American soil.

“The so-called Holy Land Foundation carried out a long and disgraceful campaign inside the United States to raise funds and coordinate terrorist actions by Hamas, which resulted in massive bloodshed in Israel,” Klein said. “The U.S. authorities are to be congratulated for their ongoing campaign to put HLF out of business and its officials in jail. Much more must be done before Israel and the world are safe from these criminals.”

On Tuesday, former HLF president and chief executive Shukri Abu Baker, former HLF board chairmen and treasurer Ghassan Elashi, and former HLF official Mufid Abdulqader were arrested in Texas. In California, Mohammed El-Mezain, another former board chairman, was arrested, as was Abdulraham Odeh in New Jersey.

Klein pointed out that two ex-officials of HLF have escaped the U.S., even though they are included in the federal indictment: Haitham Maghawri and Akram Mishal, who are fugitives. All seven individuals named in the indictment have been charged with material support for terrorists.

The indictment states that HLF sent $12.4 million to Hamas in a period of six years. It includes 11 counts of providing support to a foreign terrorist organization and 12 counts each of dealing in the property of a specially designated terrorist, Hamas, and money laundering. It also included one count each of conspiracy to support a foreign terrorist organization; conspiracy to deal in the property of a specially designated terrorist, Hamas; conspiracy to commit money laundering, and four counts involving violations of the tax law.

Klein concluded, “Through HLF, Hamas acted with impunity in the United States, showing that its undiluted hatred of Israel and Jews, expressed in acts of mass murder, was accompanied by contempt for American permissiveness toward extremism. Since September 11, 2001, it is clear to all that America and Israel face the same terrorist enemies. It is time to complete the task of wiping out terrorist conspiracies in the U.S. and establish policies that will prevent them from ever being re-established. Otherwise, the predictable outcome will be more dead Israelis and Americans, at the hands of Hamas terrorists and their allies!’

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