New York – In recent months, while operating against the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror infrastructures throughout Judea and Samaria, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have confiscated material from dozens of structures and offices used by Daawa charity institutes affiliated with terror organizations. These materials (video footage, photographs and countless documents) show how these institutes disguise terror activity as charity work. Video footage, photographs and numerous documents confiscated by security forces show active support of terrorism, advocate violence against Jews, Israel and the U.S. in Palestinian schools. The Daawa infrastructure is being used to transfer funds under the guise of charity to be used for terrorism, thus serving as a convenient apparatus for these purposes. The Daawa organizations were declared illegal following the financial support they provided for families of suicide bombers and imprisoned terrorists. This financial and social support provides an incentive for terrorists to carry out attacks and increases public support of these terror organizations (Israel Defense Forces website, September 12).
Examples of the misuse of Palestinian charities for the purposes of promoting terrorism:
- Hamas Offices in Tubas, a village north of Nablus: Supported by international Islamic organizations, organizations in Israel such as the Humanitarian Aid Authority in Nazareth, the Red Crescent and different bodies within the Palestinian Authority (PA), uses its educational and public activities to encourage terror and incite against Israel; provide assistance for widows and families of ”martyrs’ (i.e. Palestinians killed while undertaking terrorist acts against Israelis). and Palestinians imprisoned in Israel; and sponsors several summer camps in which the participating children are taken to visit families of Palestinian prisoners.
- The Islamic Charity Association in Hebron: Registered in the PA Ministry of the Interior, supports and aids families of ‘martyrs’ and Palestinian prisoners; the Hamas Student Association in the University of Hebron; and in the High Education Institute, the “Paltechnikum.” Documents confiscated from the association’s offices contain toxic incitement against Jews, Israel and the US and encourages ‘Shahada’ (sacrifice) and Jihad (Holy War) against IDF forces among Palestinian youths. All of the institutes’ activities which encourage terrorism are performed under the guise of welfare services, social and educational activities and charity committees. The primary source for funding is the “Saudi Charity Coalition”, part of INTERPAL. Further funding comes from different sources from the US, Britain, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Jordan, Kuwait, Mecca, Yemen, Qatar, and more.
- The Charity Committee (Zaka’a) in Dahariya: IDF forces founds in its office during recent military operations materials inciting hatred against Jews and even footage from a children’s play held by the committee in 2004 as part of a ceremony celebrating the birth of the prophet Muhammad. In the play, the children present the killing of three IDF soldiers.
- The Mass Press Publicity Center: Headed by Mohammad Hassan Ashitiwei, serves as a Hamas propaganda center, and is currently engaged in working to establish an independent Hamas television station called “El Snabl.” The Center prepares and distributes footage documenting Hamas ceremonies in memory of ‘martyrs,’ calls for Jihad and generally engages in hateful propaganda against Israel. It has advertised and distributed incitement materials against Israel, including songs such as “Death to Israel,”, “The Qassam Rocket,” photographs of Hamas parades. The Center also mounted an exhibition glorifying dead Hamas terrorist leaders, including Hamas founder and leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and master bomb-maker Yehia Ayyash. and Rim Riyashim, etc. (images from the exhibition were distributed by the IDF).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “It is widely neglected that the problem within the PA is not merely promotion to hatred and murder within the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps, but also the promotion of the same by supposedly humanitarian and social organizations. It is vital that people understand this, because since the Hamas government was elected in January, some people have thought it is possible to give funds for humanitarian purposes to Palestinians and thereby avoid funding terrorism. As the recent IDF report on the misuse of Palestinian charities, funded often by the West, reveals, this is simply not the case.