Muslim NGOs demand “unrestricted” Gaza accessDecember 2, 2012
Members of terror funding network among those seeking waiver from charitable restrictions
A coalition of Islamic charities in Great Britain is insisting on unfettered access to distribute “humanitarian aid” to Gaza, which is code for the freedom to work with any entity in Gaza, even if it includes Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, PFLP; any other terrorist organization or their affiliated foundations, schools, orphanages, and hospitals; or for that matter, armories, safehouses, munitions depots; or whatever other group or facility these “charities” decide to work with.
The “restrictions,” which are pretty mild and reasonable, on transferring cash to Gaza (or to any overseas location for that matter) are in place for a reason. Now is not the time for unmonitored, undisclosed, un-taxed financial transactions to Gaza under the guise of “humanitarian aid.”
The Nov. 19 letter from Muslim Charities Forum to foreign minister William Hague is signed by 17 Islamic charities. Of these, at least three—Human Appeal International, Muslim Hands, and Muslim Aid—have been previously implicated for membership in Yusuf Qaradawi’s Union of Good—a network of charities known to fund Hamas (a charge which Muslim Aid denies). Other signatories include the Muslim Charities Forum, which is itself an umbrella organization that unites several pro-Hamas charities in Britain; Islamic Relief, whose bank account with UBS was recently closed due to terror finance concerns; and the Ummah Welfare Trust, whose bank account with Barclay’s was closed in 2009 for the same reason. Quite the group…
The Rt. Hon. William Hague MP
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London, SW1A 2AA
Monday 19 November 2012
Statement of concern regarding escalating conflict in Gaza
Dear Foreign Secretary,
We are writing to you regarding the recent upsurge in violence and military activity in Gaza.
As Muslim-led humanitarian agencies, we are deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of the people of Gaza following the renewed intensification of conflict and violence within the region. Gaza is still in the process of reconstruction following the previous war that ended in January 2009, where 1,400 people were killed, 5,000 injured and 40,000 forced out of their homes. Based upon our experience of supporting those affected by conflict and disasters, we fear that the recent escalation in military action threatens to cause further untold damage and human suffering to the civilian population of Gaza.
Our paramount concern is to ensure that the people affected by this conflict are protected from direct and indirect consequences of the violence, and that those in need have unimpeded access to humanitarian aid and medical services. We therefore urge the British Government to emphasise to all parties involved in the conflict that they comply with their obligations under International Humanitarian Law with respect to safeguarding the lives and dignity of the civilian population. In addition, we stress the need for affected civilian populations in Gaza to have unrestricted access to humanitarian aid as necessary, and to ensure that all humanitarian workers, medical staff and hospitals are protected.
Humanitarian agencies are committed to providing aid and relief to the most vulnerable communities regardless of the operating conditions, striving to prevent and alleviate human suffering and ensure that basic needs are met. The British Government also has a duty to ensure that those affected by conflict are not directly targeted by parties involved and are protected from the impact of fighting.
We hope the British Government can assist humanitarian organisations in providing relief to the civilian population in Gaza caught in the conflict.
Dr. Hany El-Banna OBE, Chairman, Muslim Charities Forum
Abdul Ahad Miah, UK Country Director, Al-Imdaad Foundation UK
Imam Qasim Ahmed, Chairman, Al Khair Foundation
Khalid Al-Fawaz, Chairman, Al Muntada Al Islami
Abdul Razzaq Sajid, Chairman, Al Mustafa Welfare Trust
Anjum Layla Tahirkheli, CEO, Basic Human Rights
Othman Moqbel, Chief Executive, Human Appeal International
Masood Alam Khan, Chairman, Islamic Help
Jehangir Malik OBE, Director, Islamic Relief UK
Saif Ahmad, CEO, MADE in Europe
Syed Sharfuddin, CEO, Muslim Aid
Sabooh Uddin, CEO, Muslim Charity
Syed Lakthe Hassanain, Chairman, Muslim Hands
Tufail Hussain, CEO, Orphans in Need
Tahir Begg, Chairman, Read Foundation UK
Zahid Parvez, President, UK Islamic Mission
Mohammed Athar, Secretary of Trustees, Ummah Welfare Trust