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Islamic Relief to take Israel to court over terror group designation

Islamic Relief volunteers take part in Covid-19 efforts in Syria [@IRWorldwide/Twitter]
UK-based charity Islamic Relief volunteers take part in Covid-19 efforts in Syria [@IRWorldwide/Twitter]

Israel’s designation of Islamic Relief as a terrorist group will be challenged next month in the country’s supreme court, Chief Executive of the UK based charity, Naser Haghamed, has announced in a Guardian article arguing “Islamic Relief is a charity, not a terrorist group. We’re going to court to prove it.”

The international aid agency, which provides humanitarian relief and development programmes in over 40 countries, has been banned from providing aid and assistance to Palestinians since 2014 when the Israeli government labelled it a “terrorist organisation.”

Following Israel’s designation, Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) warned that, 70,000 Palestinians had been left without vital support.

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Speaking about the legal challenge in the Guardian article, Haghamed said that “leading Israeli human rights lawyers” will be representing IRW to challenge the Israeli government’s designation of the group as a terrorist organisation. IRW will try to prove that it does not “materially support Hamas” and refute the claim that it is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.

“I attend every board meeting, every senior management team meeting, and I can personally vouch that no external organisation influences or controls Islamic Relief,” said Haghamed. “Multiple sign-off in our financial systems protects against any individual with an agenda spiriting money away.”

Haghamed pointed out that “in the past decade more than 500 audits” were conducted by governments and institutional donors over IRW and its programmes, which includes more than 20 audits in the West Bank and Gaza and “not one has found a shred of evidence of links to extremism or terrorism.”

“Our major donors would not support us if allegations of terrorism links were remotely credible,” insisted Haghamed

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