Islamic Relief will refuse all donations received from the Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal for Gaza, while it carries out an investigation into Israeli accusations that it has ties to Hamas, writes Daniella Reyhanian.
The DEC is comprised of 13 aid organisations including Islamic Relief, which has been banned in Israel due to alleged ties with the Palestinian terrorist organisation. In June, Israel’s defence minister Moshe Yaalon branded Islamic Relief “an unauthorised association” and empowered authorities to seize funds the group sends to Gaza.
A spokesman for Islamic Relief told Jewish News: “Islamic Relief Worldwide is a purely humanitarian organisation and categorically denies Moshe Yaalon’s allegations. No organisation is investigating Islamic Relief Worldwide as a result of these allegations, and no financial institution has closed any of our accounts. Islamic Relief has never had a Charities Aid Foundation bank account.
“As a responsible organisation we are looking into this matter thoroughly to ensure that our processes for aid delivery have been followed. Islamic Relief decided independently that it will not draw down any funds from the DEC Gaza Crisis Appeal until our review is completed.”
A DEC spokesman told this newspaper: “Members of the Disasters Emergency Committee hold themselves and each other to the highest humanitarian standards. No member agency could accept the diversion of aid funds either for political purposes or to fund any armed group.
“Any such diversion would constitute an extremely serious breach of their principles, policies and procedures as well as the DEC’s Islamic Relief Worldwide is surprised and very concerned about allegations by the Israeli government that it has linked to Hamas and is urgently investigating these claims.
“The DEC is in close contact with Islamic Relief about the allegations and is awaiting the conclusion of their investigation. Islamic Relief has chosen not to draw down any DEC funds until its investigation is concluded.
Last month Jewish community leaders reacted angrily to the Jewish Chronicle’s decision to run the DEC advert for Gaza, featuring Islamic Relief in the wake of the Israel boycott.