12 July 2010
Germany's government has banned the Turkish organization IHH following evidence that it collects donations for Hamas-related ‘welfare’ projects in the Gaza Strip. Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said in a statement that the International Humanitarian Relief Organization was banned because it had used charitable donations to support Hamas activities while presenting IHH activities to donors as humanitarian help. De Maizière said organizations that directly or indirectly worked against Israel's right to exist, such as Hamas, had no right to be active in Germany.
"The IHH has, under the cover of humanitarian aid, supported Gaza Strip-based so-called social associations which are attributable to Hamas, for a long period of time and to a considerable financial extent," the interior minister declared in a statement. "Hamas employs acts of violence against Israel and Israeli citizens and therefore compromises a peaceful settlement between the Israeli and Palestinian people.”
The IHH was one of the main organizers of the Gaza flotilla. During an IDF raid in May, nine Turkish activists aboard one of the six ships were killed. The charity is considered a terrorist organization by a number of bodies has been accused of maintaining ties with a number of terror organizations.
The Islamist IHH was founded in the mid-1990s to provide aid to Bosnian Muslims and was initially registered in Frankfurt, Germany. The European Jewish Congress and other Jewish groups had called for a ban of the charity. (Picture above: IHH chairman Bülent Yildirim and exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in 2009).
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