Daily Israel Report

Report Exposes Name-Changing Hamas Front Group

The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies (C.S.S) has released a report exposing a Canadian “charity” as a front organization for the Hamas terror group.
First Publish: 11/25/2004, 2:37 PM / Last Update: 11/24/2004, 1:29 PM

The organization is called IRFAN (International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy, formerly called the Jerusalem Fund for Human Services). According to the report, IRFAN enlists contributions in Canada and transfers the funds to Hamas' civilian infrastructure in the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas.

“Like other Hamas-supporting funds, IRFAN states that its goals are humanitarian and that it was established to ‘cope with the greater demands of the needy in the world’,” says the report. “It obscures the fact that it deals mainly with Palestinian causes, and makes no mention at all of its ties to Hamas. It presents itself (on its Internet site) as working for the needy in many Muslim countries: the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Turkey, Iraq, Albania and Algeria.”

The description is far from accurate – a simple perusal of the group’s website illustrates that nearly all of the funded activity takes place in the PA. “The institutions the Fund supports (and through which it launches its projects) are almost exclusively part of Hamas' civilian infrastructure in the PA-administered territories and of its terrorist-supporting apparatus,” the report says. “It is worthwhile noting that even the Palestinian Authority has identified IRFAN with Hamas.”

According to the report, the donations, which come not only from Canada but from other countries as well, go directly to Hamas, helping it establishing itself as an alternative to the PA and allowing it to maintain and improve operational capability to carry out terror attacks on Jewish targets. As a non-profit organization, the donations it receives are tax-deductible.

During IDF operations against Hamas institutions in Israel, many documents were found regarding the money transferred by IRFAN to Hamas institutions that have been outlawed by
Israel .

An alarming aspect of the report is the fact that IRFAN, which is Arabic for “gratitude,” is simply a new name given to an organization, the Jerusalem Fund, which was already designated as a Hamas-affiliate by the Canadian government, but which is able to continue its nefarious activities unhindered by simply changing its name.

According to the report the Jerusalem Fund for Human Services (JFHS), established in 1991, was a Canadian-based front organization for Hamas, “whose annual support for Hamas institutions in the PA-administered territories was estimated at hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Fund was active until the end of 2001-beginning of 2002, when it changed its name from the Jerusalem Fund to IRFAN…intending to obscure its ties to Hamas and to make it difficult for Canadian law enforcement agencies to act against it.”

Amongst the factors demonstrating that The Jerusalem Fund and IRFAN are one and the same is the fact that the Jerusalem Fund’s office in eastern Jerusalem changed its name to IRFAN - the Jerusalem Office. It operates from the same address, has the same telephone numbers and is headed by the same man, Khaled Abu Kaf, who, the report says, is identified with Hamas.

The tactic of Hamas funds changing their names to make matters difficult for law-enforcement agencies is well known from events in other countries. The report cites the London-based Palestine and Lebanon Relief Fund (PLRF) as one example. PLRF renamed itself Interpal and continues to operate.

For the entire report, including illustrations, click here.