Islamic Relief stops taking DEC donations during internal investigation into allegations by Israel of links to Hamas

The aid and development charity has been prevented from operating in Israel and the West Bank

Islamic Relief
Islamic Relief

Islamic Relief has decided not to take any donations from the Disasters Emergency Committee while it carries out an internal investigation prompted by its being banned from Israel for suspected links to Hamas.

On 19 June, the Israel defence minister declared Islamic Relief an "unauthorised association" and added it to a list of organisations on the Israeli Ministry of Defence website that he said were linked to Hamas.

The charity, which is one of 13 charity members of the DEC and had an income of £100.4m in 2012, has since been prevented from operating in Israel and the West Bank.

A spokesman for Islamic Relief said it was a purely humanitarian organisation and categorically denied the allegation that it was linked to Hamas. He said that no organisation was investigating Islamic Relief Worldwide as a result of the allegation.

"As a responsible organisation we are looking into this matter thoroughly to ensure that our processes for aid delivery have been followed," he said. "Islamic Relief decided independently that it will not draw down any funds from the DEC Gaza Crisis Appeal until our review is completed."

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said the charity submitted a serious incident report to the commission in June after learning of its inclusion on the Israeli government’s list through news media. She said the commission was not investigating Islamic Relief and was satisfied that the charity was responding appropriately to the incident.

A spokesman for the DEC confirmed that Islamic Relief had chosen not to draw down any DEC funds until its investigation had concluded.

Susannah Birkwood

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