Background Information: Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH)

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION: TURKISH HUMANITARIAN RELIEF FOUNDATION (IHH)
(Communicated by the GPO)Thursday, May 27, 2010

Following is background information on the Turkish Humanitarian Relief
Foundation, which is involved in the dispatch of the flotilla to the Gaza
Strip:

Turkey?s Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) was established in 1995 and
registered in Istanbul. The organization was outlawed in Israel in May 2008
because of its affiliation with the ?charity coalition? and the fact that it
had become a major component in the global fund raising machine for the
Hamas terrorist organization.

The foundation?s declared goal is to provide assistance to Islamic groups in
various places around the world, mainly in Asia. In recent years, however,
there has been a marked trend in the organization to broaden its operations
to various countries in Europe as well, sometimes by establishing branches
that bear its name, even though they deny any connection to the IHH.

The IHH has a radical Islamic orientation and is closely related to the
extremist Islamic brotherhood. As part of this outlook, the IHH supports
the Hamas terrorist organization and does not bother to hide its affiliation
with Hamas. In recent years, primarily since Hamas seized control of the
Gaza Strip, the IHH has organized public conferences in Turkey to
demonstrate its support for Hamas, and senior Hamas officials have openly
participated in these public displays. At these conferences, the heads of
the IHH have expressed their uncompromising support for Hamas and its
tactics, including its armed warfare on civilians and its defiance of the
Palestinian Authority headed by Abu Mazen and Salam Fayyad.

As part of the ?charity coalition,? the IHH is affiliated with Hamas fund
raising organizations around the world, providing substantial amounts of
money for joint projects to support the Hamas regime and its institutions
in the Gaza Strip and on the West Bank. These are ?charity? organizations
that belong to the Hamas terrorist movement and are controlled by senior
Hamas activists. They include the Islamic Charity Organization in Hebron,
which is considered the largest Hamas organization on the West Bank, and the
Al-tadamun Benevolent Society in Nablus, another one of the major Hamas
?charity? organizations - both of which have been outlawed in Israel for the
same reason.

The IHH conducts many activities in Gaza and even established a branch in
Gaza City to promote its operations there. In January 2008, an IHH
delegation met with Ahmad Bahar, a senior Hamas activist who is chairman of
the legislative council of the Hamas regime in Gaza. During the meeting, the
delegation described the scope of assistance that the IHH had provided to
the Gaza Strip during the previous year and said that in future it would
double that amount.

To promote its activities, in November 2009 the IHH sent one of its
activists, Azat Shahin, to open another branch on the West Bank. Shahin
began work on establishing the new branch and even transferred tens of
thousands of dollars from the IHH to the Hamas organizations mentioned
above. However, these activities were halted by his arrest for questioning
in April 2010 on suspicion of financing terrorism and supporting the Hamas
terrorist organization. At the request of Turkish officials, he was deported
from Israel after conclusion of the investigation in Israel.

In summary, the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (the IHH), which has
been outlawed in Israel, is now considered a significant player in the Hamas
global fund raising machine. It is a radical Islamic organization associated
with the Islamic Brotherhood, and does not conceal its support of Hamas and
its ideology of terrorism. The IHH maintains direct contacts with senior
Hamas officials and even organizes and participates in various conferences
that are identified with the Islamic Brotherhood and Hamas.

IMRA, Independent Media Review and Analysis, was founded in 1992, by Drs. Aaron and Joseph Lerner, as an ongoing analysis of developments in Arab-Israeli relations. Awarded credentials by the Government of Israel as a news organization, IMRA provides an extensive digest of media, polls and significant interviews and events.

The site includes:

  • Israeli public opinion polls performed by Gallup
  • Palestinian public opinion surveys conducted by the Palestinian research centers
  • Summaries of news reports from the Israeli and Arab press and Arab broadcast media
  • Official Israeli and PNA statements
  • English translations of government reports and memoranda
  • Translations of important unofficial documents
  • Analysis of treaties and agreements
  • Reprints of IMRA's Op-Ed columns

This is originally posted at http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=48166 and IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis is responsible for the content.

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