Netherlands arrests two for Hamas fundraising

Pro-Israel organizations have alleged that the suspects are likely Amin Abou Rashed and his daughter Israa, the former having made headlines in the past for his Hamas ties.

 Police officers wearing body armor (photo credit: PXFUEL)
Police officers wearing body armor
(photo credit: PXFUEL)

The Netherlands arrested a father and daughter for fundraising for Hamas, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service announced this week.

The 55-year-old man and 25-year-old woman from Leidschendam were suspected of sending about 5.5 million Euros to an organization related to Hamas, which the Netherlands proscribed as a terrorist organization. In addition, they are suspected of being members of an organization whose purpose is to financially support Hamas.

The authorities in the Netherlands searched their home in Leidschendam and a business in Rotterdam, seizing “large amounts of cash,” in addition to a bank balance of 750,000 Euros.

The Public Prosecution stated that “the investigation was launched in response to reports of unusual transactions by the Financial Intelligence Unit and newspaper articles about a fundraiser in Europe for Hamas. There is no formal Hamas presence in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, there are several pro-Palestinian and pro-Gaza organizations in the Netherlands, which are an important link in the international network that collects money for Hamas.” 

Who are the suspects

The Dutch authorities did not name the suspects, in line with local laws, but pro-Israel organizations have said that they are likely Amin Abou Rashed and his daughter Israa. 

 Amin Abu Rashid (right) with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh  (credit: FACEBOOK)
Amin Abu Rashid (right) with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (credit: FACEBOOK)

Israel designated Abou Rashed as a terrorist and a member of Hamas in 2013.

Dutch pro-Israel organization CIDI said that the elder Abou Rashed “has been involved in the Palestinian activist world for many years…known far and wide as ‘the Hamas fundraiser.’” He also organizes pro-Palestinian activities with members of the Dutch parliament.

Attention was drawn to Abou Rashed’s activities through articles in newspapers, including The Jerusalem Post, about a Hamas event in Sweden in May, which he helped organize.

Abou Rashed was chairman of “The 20th European Palestinians Conference: 75 Years On... We Will Return” in Malmö, Sweden in May. The event was organized by the London-based European Palestinians Conference, which includes several organizations in Europe and was founded by the Palestinian Return Center, which Israel designated as an arm of Hamas in 2010. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has attended their annual event several times. 

Abou Rashed posted extensively about the European Palestinians Conference on his Facebook page, as well as a photograph of himself with Haniyeh.

The Palestinian Authority, the PLO and Fatah also consider the European Palestinians Conference to be a Hamas organization. According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, the PLO threatened to expel anyone who attended the Malmo event, which PLO Secretary-General Hussein Al-Sheikh said was meant to sow divisions in Palestinian communities in Europe.

Israa has also expressed support for Hamas on her Facebook page. She is a board member of the Israa Foundation, a member of a network called the Union of Good, which fundraiser for Hamas and was designated a terror group by the US Department of the Treasury. Her father posts on social media extensively about participating in the Israa Foundation’s events and alluded to being one of its founders.