A notoriously anti-Israel charity banned in Australia, Israel, and the US for directly supporting the Hamas terror ogranization will be bringing its fifth "aid convoy" to Gaza via Sinai, the Information Center for Intelligence and Terrorism reports.
Interpal, a London-based aid network set up in the early 1990s to ostensibly provide aid Palestinian Authority administered areas, has weathered three investigations into its activities in Britain, but was banned in the US in 2003 for using its global humanitarian missions as a cover for generating money on behalf of Hamas.
It was also outlawed in Australia in 2003 for allegedly being linked to terrorist activities. A bid to have its proscription revoked in Australia by Interpal was rejected in 2005 by Alexander Downer, the Australian Foreign Minister at the time.
The Center reports its investigation revealed Interpal, backed by prominent Scottish MP George Galloway, continues to play a key role in transferring funds and and aid to Hamas. Interpal most frequently does so through the "The Union of Good," an umbrella organization that includes dozens of Islamic funds worldwide who pass funds to Hamas institutions.
Of particular note, however, is Interpal's involvement in mounting aid convoys from Sinai to Gaza under the "Miles of Smiles" initiative. The convoys, which enter Gaza via Sinai with the consent of Egypt's government, continue to arrive, with the next one expected in August and two more expected before November.
The August convoy has departed from South Africa and will pass through Sudan before arriving in Gaza raising concerns it will pick up terrorist fighters and munitions for Hamas along the way.
"Although we do not have concrete and current information about this convoy," a spokesman for the center said, "we know in the past (2009) a convoy was accompanied by Interpal officials. During the 'Viva Palestina' convoy, MP George Galloway gave a package of bank notes to the Minister of National Economy Hamas government. A year later he stated that he transferred £ 1.4 million to Ismail Haniyeh."
Hamas emerged in 1987 as the 'Palestinian' branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and has political, social and military wings. Its military wing, Izz al-Din al-Qassem Brigades, has been responsible for numerous suicide attacks in Israel, as well as the near daily rocket and mortar attacks on Israel's Gaza belt communities since 2001.
According to the US Treasury Department list of specially designated blocked persons and organizations, Interpal operates under 13 other known aliases. Interpal is heavily vested in anti-Israel propaganda and BDS activities.