Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon signed a decree on Thursday banning Islamic Relief Worldwide from operating in Israel.
Israel believes IRW, which markets itself as a charitable agency that solicits donations from all over the world, funnels cash to Hamas.
Ya’alon’s ban was decided upon after the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the coordinator for government activities in the territories, and legal authorities provided incriminating information against IRW.
The organization has representatives worldwide, including Australia, the United States, and Britain, where it is headquartered. Some of their local branches in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria are run by Hamas operatives.
Ya’alon’s decree makes it illegal for IRW to function anywhere in Israel, Judea, and Samaria. It will also be forbidden from transferring funds to any destination in Judea and Samaria.
“[The IRW] is another source of funds for Hamas, and we have no intention of allowing it to operate and assist terrorist activity against Israel,” Ya’alon said. “This is another in a series of steps that we are taking against Hamas in Judea and Samaria and the pressure we are applying, the goal of which is to harm the organization’s leadership and rank-and-file as well as its civilian infrastructure. These serve as the foundation from which Hamas operates among the local population.”
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