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Labour and Hamas: Interpal

The charity Interpal is a key node of the Hamas support network in the UK. It provides both material and political backing to the terrorist group.

Since 2009 it has taken to organising convoys to Gaza under the “Miles of Smiles” banner, often in partnership with fellow Hamas supporters and vicious antisemites.

Another convoy has reached Gaza this month. The “armed wing” of Hamas joyously reports the news. (A screenshot is here in case Hamas disappears that page.) Enthusiasm is running high:

Gaza- “Miles of Smiles 13″ aid convoy crossed Rafah border into Gaza on Sunday evening led by the head of the Jordanian branch of the Muslim brotherhood Sheikh Hammam Saeed.

PIC reporter stated that the convoy includes 110 human rights activists most of them are Islamic movements’ leaders and the Arab spring leaders from 17 Arab countries carrying 10 tons of medical supplies to the hospitals in the besieged strip. They were received by Deputy Prime Minister of the Palestinian government in Gaza Mohammad Awadh and several Palestinian MPs and leaders of Hamas movement.

During a press conference on the Palestinian side of the border, Sheikh Saeed said that “the arrival of the convoy is a new page of the Jihad against the occupation of the Palestinian territories,” confirming that “the occupation is doomed and Palestine will definitely rise again”.

Saeed continued in this “yay, jihad!” vein in another convoy meeting with Hamas:

Sheikh Saeed hailed the development of the Palestinian resistance that was able to conquer the occupier and win despite its modern equipment, missiles, and tanks.

Back to the Hamas report:

Dr. Essam Youssef, the convoy’s General Director, said that the convoy included Islamic leaderships and figures from the Arab spring representing 17 Arab countries including Lebanon, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan. They all came to support the Palestinian cause and to confirm that the occupation will soon vanish.

Essam Yusuf, also known as Essam Mustafa, is Vice Chairman and Managing Trustee of Interpal. Here he is on this visit, chuffed to be feted by Hamas leaders Mahmoud “Kill Jewish Kids Everywhere” Al-Zahar and Khalil Al-Hayya. Al-Hayya has a rather simple view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, expressed at an Islamic Jihad rally: “There is only the choice of Jihad and nothing else … There is no more room to make bets, on the Americans or anyone else”.

The Chairman of Interpal is Ibrahim Hewitt, who moonlights as Daud Abdullah’s deputy at the hate publisher Middle East Monitor. Here are Yusuf and Hewitt with their big boss on an earlier Gaza convoy.

This time they have Hugh Lanning of the PSC for company. Sarah Colborne is there too. How excited they must be!

The Hamas supporters and fans of far right haters of Viva Palestina Malaysia are on this convoy too. They have been very grateful to Essam Yusuf for all his assistance.

Mohamad Kozbar, the Chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque so adored by Ken Livingstone and Robert Lambert, is also joining in the festivities.

So is Kozbar’s fellow trustee at the Finsbury Park Mosque, Hamas UK operative and Istanbul declaration signatory Mohammad Sawalha. Come on kids, learn to love jihad!

Other fun convoy activities for Interpal include paying respects at the grave of Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin. That’s Hewitt on the left in this picture from an earlier convoy. In the centre is Interpal Birmingham employee Zaid Hassan. On this visit, failed 1980s Tunisian Islamist revolutionary and current CEO of Islam Channel Mohamed Ali Harrath tagged along. He is to Hassan’s left.

Even Hamas is not enough for one Interpal employee. Ibrahim Dar of the Bradford operation has quite a soft spot for Anwar Al-Awlaki, the Al Qaeda preacher and recruiter felled by the evil Americans. He distributes Awlaki tapes to young British Muslims, including via this website.

Interpal is among the worst of the worst extremists.

This blog has documented Interpal’s nasty record for some years now. But the story is older than that. Interpal was first exposed in the British media by a BBC Panorama documentary way back in 2006. That followed its designation by the US as a terror funder in 2003. The US noted that “Interpal, headquartered in the UK, has been a principal charity utilized to hide the flow of money to Hamas” and “Reporting indicates that Interpal is the fundraising coordinator of Hamas”.

No matter for dozens of Labour MPs. Look at this ridiculous Early Day Motion (EDM) from 2009:

That this House recognises the important and valuable work carried out by the charity Interpal; agrees with the Charity Commission that charities like Interpal who provide `humanitarian aid in high-risk situations, such as conflict and other complex emergencies, make a vital contribution to these communities and their work supports people in desperate need’; notes with concern the numerous unsubstantiated allegations of links to terrorism that have been levelled at Interpal and the undeserved and unjust negative impact that these have had on the charity’s reputation and operations; praises Interpal on its efforts to comply with all of the Charity Commission’s recommendations regarding due diligence and monitoring of partners; and, in light of Lloyds TSB’s decision to refuse to continue processing the charity’s international clearance payments and bearing in mind the Charity Commission’s view that `every charity must have access to banking services’, calls on the Government to offer stronger support to Interpal in their efforts to find permanent banking arrangements.

So banks simply obeying sanctions laws must be brought to heel by the government. Great!

The EDM was proposed by Labour MP Lynne Jones. Labour MPs made up 24 of the 35 signatories. There was just one Tory signatory – soggy Peter Bottomley.

A few months earlier Jeremy Corbyn had come up with this EDM on the “excellent work” of Interpal:

That this House notes the excellent work of the British charity Interpal in helping the Palestinians with £40 million worth of humanitarian aid development since 1994; acknowledges that Lloyds TSB Group Plc has served notice to the Islamic Bank of Britain to discontinue its services to Interpal or subsequently to face closure itself without offering any reason; further notes the wide distress that this has the potential to cause, in both the local Muslim community and the wider Arab world, since both hold the charity in particularly high regard; further notes that Interpal has withstood three previous investigations by the Charity Commission; and calls upon the Government to note the precedent this will lay down regarding any other charities Lloyds may choose to target and to ensure that this bank which is in receipt of enormous state benefit be pressurised to behave in a socially responsible manner.

This time 34 of 38 signatories were Labour MPs. Not one Tory signed.

Interpal was even allowed into the Treasury for a commiseration session in 2009. Note the favourable wording:

A spokesman for the Treasury said the government wasn’t getting involved “at this stage”.

“At the moment it is just a commercial matter for the bank,” the spokesman said. However, he added that “not everyone that asks for a meeting with a minister gets one”.

Labour MP Stephen Timms was a Treasury minister back then. He too has lots of time for Interpal:

Many people are motivated by faith to give financially to alleviate suffering – for example in Gaza after the recent conflict. The UK NGO Interpal is a channel for such contributions, very widely supported by Muslims in my constituency and elsewhere, and respected by other NGOs. But its continued operation is threatened by the withdrawal of facilities by UK clearing banks, because Interpal is on a US proscribed list. It wouldn’t be right if mainstream routes for British Muslims’ humanitarian contributions were blocked by unexplained concerns from outside the UK.

“Unexplained concerns”? Ho ho.

No such Labour story would be complete without Lord Ahmed. Here he is with Ibrahim Hewitt at a parliamentary reception for Interpal.

At the reception, Lord Ahmed saluted Interpal, saying it is a “very professional and a fantastic British charity, and we want to congratulate them”. His fellow speakers included the extremists Daud Abdullah and Ismail Patel, Islamist fixer Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Hamas funder George Galloway, and Sarah Colborne of the PSC.

Great friends of Hamas funders and promoters, and prepared to ignore ample evidence against them in order to help – this is yet another accomplishment of the Labour party.