Jerusalem – On June 19, 2014, Israel’s Defense Minister declared Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), a British-based non-governmental organization (NGO), as illegal and banned it from operating in Israel and the West Bank. This decision was based on information regarding IRW’s alleged fundraising for Hamas, a designated terror organization by Israel, the U.S., EU, and Canada.

NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem based research institute has found that IRW is funded by a number of European governments and non-governmental foundations. Donors for 2012 include the UK (£1,400,000), the EU (£2,169,340), Spain (£243,942), Sweden, Switzerland (£52,942), Oxfam (£1,800,671), Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (£235,846), United Nations Development Programme (£919,350), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (£8,841,287) and United Nations World Food Programme (£289,373).

Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, commented, “Israel’s findings suggest that European governments did not employ sufficient due diligence before entering into a financial relationship with IRW. Cooperation with an organization that supports terrorist activities clearly contradicts European foreign policy.”

NGO Monitor has written to these funders to determine whether mechanisms have been put in place to ensure that funding or cooperation with IRW has not been linked to terrorist activities or incitement to violence. So far, no responses indicating any type of concern or investigation have been received.

“These findings necessitate a comprehensive and transparent review by funders and supporters of IRW. Such irresponsible funding negates the promotion of human rights and perpetuates the conflict,” Prof. Steinberg continued.

Read NGO Monitor’s report: “Islamic Relief’s alleged Hamas links implicate European funders