Yet another example of the difficulty of distinguishing “moderate” Islamic groups from those who simply insist on their moderate credentials. (We’ve provided a handy set of criteria here.)
“Hamas funds being transferred to Israeli Arabs, documents reveal,” by Amos Harel for Haaretz, October 6:
Arab Israeli non-profit groups have approached Islamic charity organizations in the West Bank over the past year with requests to receive money for various projects, according to documents seized over the past year in Israel Defense Forces raids on West Bank associations identified with Hamas, and now being analyzed.
Israeli security officials had previously noted the transfer of money from Israel to the West Bank. The change in direction appears to be connected to harsher rules governing the transfer of monetary assistance into Israel, as compared with the transfer of funds to the West Bank.
Since the beginning of the calendar year, the IDF has increased its surveillance of Hamas-affiliated civil groups in the West Bank, particularly in Hebron, Qalqilyah, Ramallah and Nablus. A number of organizations were closed down and documents and computers confiscated.
Following an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the PA too is now raiding and closing Hamas-affiliated offices.
The IDF is now analyzing documents seized in its raids, with the principal goal of preventing money from coming into the territories from abroad, on the assumption that it will be used for terror. Among these documents are some from Israeli Islamic groups, which have requested, in some cases, millions of dollars in aid from groups in the territories. The requests include funding for the construction of mosques and clubhouses. In at least one case, the request was made in the name of the municipal workers of an Arab city in Israel.
Senior IDF officers told Haaretz that contributions are flowing to the West Bank in the amount of tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars, from Islamic communities around the world. Among them are donations from Persian Gulf states, as well as from Muslim communities in Belgium and Britain.