British MPs Express Support for Terror Charity
(Article published on http://standforpeace.org.uk)
An early day motion was tabled on 25th November in support of the pro-Hamas charity, Interpal. The motion’s primary sponsor is Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins, but it has also been sponsored by 18 other MPs from across the political spectrum: Peter Bottomley, Ronnie Campbell, Martin Caton, Jeremy Corbyn, Jim Cunningham, Jim Dobbin, Mark Durkan, Jonathan Edwards, Mike Hancock, John Hemming, John Leech, Elfyn Llwyd, John McDonnell, Alan Meale, Linda Riordan, Margaret Ritchie, Bob Russell, and Sarah Teather.
Early day motion 786 asks that the House “acknowledges the humanitarian work carried out for the people of Palestine by the British charity Interpal” and “regrets that it has been denied full access to the banking system as a result of an unfounded designation by the US administration in 2003”. It calls on the UK Government “to press the US administration to rescind its damaging designation of Interpal”.
Stand for Peace is deeply disappointed by this motion, given the plethora of evidence that Interpal is not the “non-political, non-profit making British charity that focuses solely on the provision of relief and development aid to the poor and needy of Palestine” that it claims to be. It is, in fact, a key component of a terrorist network which benefits Hamas, the genocidal Palestinian terror group. EDM 786 alludes to Interpal’s designation as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in 2003, which was far from “unfounded”. The US Government stated that “Reporting indicates that Interpal is the fundraising coordinator of Hamas.” Australia has also classified Interpal as a terrorist organisation, and the Canadian Government has cited it as a Hamas front.
A 2002 Israeli investigation into to the charity found that all of its local partner charities within the Palestinian territories were “affiliated with Hamas or works on its behalf, not only with regard to humanitarian issues but as part of its terrorism-supporting apparatus.”
A July 2006 investigation by BBC Panorama claimed that Interpal was providing funds to a number of Hamas-affiliated charities in the Palestinian territories, some of which were run by senior Hamas members. Children from the al Khalil al Rahman Girls’ School, which received money from Interpal, were filmed singing “Fasten your bomb belt, o would-be martyr and fill the square with blood so that we get back our homeland.”
Interpal is an inaugural member of the Union of Good, which was found by the US Treasury in 2008 to have Hamas leaders on its board of directors. For example, a member of the Hamas executive committee was both Secretary General of the Union of Good and the vice-chairman of Interpal. The US Treasury designated the Union of Good as a terrorist entity, citing the reason for the decision as the Union of Good’s work to “strengthen Hamas’ political and military position.” Interpal’s involvement with the Union of Good prompted an investigation by the Charity Commission, which found that the trustees must “end the charity’s membership of, and in all other respects dissociate from, the Union of Good.”
More recently, in 2012, Interpal’s chief trustee, Essam Yusuf, met with Hamas leaders after leading a convoy to Gaza. He also visited the families of deceased terror leaders such as Sheikh Said Seyam, who commanded Hamas’ Executive force, a militia which tortured and murdered Palestinian Fatah supporters in 2006 during Hamas’s violent takeover of the Gaza Strip; as well as the home of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Ismail Hassan Yassin, who was responsible for hundreds of terrorist attacks. Earlier this year, after the Miles of Smiles convoy arrived in Gaza, Yusuf took part in a conference with Hamas terror leader Ismail Haniyeh. An upcoming charity dinner organised by Interpal for the 7 December 2013 will feature Majdi Aqil, a trustee of the openly pro-Hamas organisation the Palestine Return Centre, who was reported by the New York Times in 1988 as one of a number of Hamas members to have been arrested by Israel.  He has appeared at a number of other Interpal fundraisers and is reportedly employed by the charity.  
Interpal trustees openly associate with Hamas. Rather than working towards reversing the US decision to designation this charity as a terrorist organisation, the UK Government should be following suite. Furthermore, as if Interpal’s Hamas links were not troubling enough, the charity’s chair, Ibrahim Hewitt, authored a book for the Muslim Education Trust entitled ‘What Does Islam Say?’ in which he advocates the death penalty for apostates and adulterers, and demands that homosexuals suffer “severe punishments” for their “great sin”. Far from supporting Interpal, our elected representatives should unreservedly condemn this extremist charity and its bigoted trustees.
 BBC Panorama, “Faith, Hate and Charity”, broadcast on BBC One, Sunday 30 July 2006.
 Ibrahim Hewitt, What does Islam Say?, The Muslim Educational Trust, April 2004