Lebanese Islamic charities fund HamasOctober 10, 2012
The stench of laundered money has wafted from Lebanon throughout the international financial system for years. Usually that’s because of Lebanese banks being used to fund Hezbollah.
But the latest announcement by the U.S. Treasury Department indicates that Lebanon is being used as a funding base for Hamas as well.
Treasury has designated two Islamic charities in Lebanon, Al-Waqfiya and Al-Quds, as being “controlled” by Hamas. Treasury’s press release explains that the charities exist, “to support the families of Hamas fighters and prisoners and to raise money for programs and projects in the Palestinian territories intended to spread Hamas’s influence and control.”
It’s important to note that the sanctions won’t have much of a practical effect unless Al-Waqfiya or Al-Quds normally keeps money in a U.S. bank, does business with American companies, or receives zakat donations from American Muslims.
Treasury’s announcement also revealed that Al-Waqfiya and Al-Quds charities are members of Yusuf Qaradawi’s Hamas-funding network, the Union of Good (UoG). Treasury should go farther than these two designations by publishing an exact list of all charities that fall under the UoG umbrella.
While Israel has published a members list before, the U.S. only maintains a blanket designation against UoG, and has only specified a few of the charities that belong to it.