Credit card companies block donations to charity accused of having links to Hamas

Move came after UK Lawyers for Israel pointed out that Interpal is designated as a terrorist organisation in the US


A charity accused of having links to Hamas has been prevented from receiving donations by credit card via its website.

Interpal’s donations section was frozen by credit card companies after UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) wrote to them pointing out that Interpal is designated as a foreign terrorist organisation in the US.

In 2003 the charity was classed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) by the US, which meant that its American assets had to be frozen, and that transactions with US nationals have been prohibited.

It is also listed as a terrorism financing entity in Canada.

Caroline Turner, director of UKLFI, explained: “The US law is wide-ranging in its effects.  Credit card companies are global organisations and bound not only by the US anti-terror legislation, but also by ethical guidelines which apply to all multi-national enterprises. 

“If a charity has been designated as a terror organisation in the US, this has a far-reaching effect worldwide.  We are highlighting these laws and doing what we can to prevent funding to terrorist or terror-linked organisations.”

This comes after MyDonate, which is BT’s not-for-profit online fundraising service for UK charities, withdrew its funding platform service from the charity in July.

The charity, which is regulated by the Charities Commission, and operates in the UK legally, describes itself as “non-political” and working to support the most vulnerable.

It states: “We exist to empower Palestinians to face their challenges and hardships in our principal areas of operation: the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon.”

Interpal responded: "We refute, in the strongest terms, any and all allegations of illegal activity of any kind. We have been investigated in the wake of such allegations on many occasions and continue to be regulated by the Charity Commission and are free to work as a legitimate charity operating under English Law. Interpal is strictly a humanitarian organisation; the apparently unending repetition of accusations and consequent perpetuation of false and damaging allegations has a negative impact on our ability to offer humanitarian aid to Palestinians in desperate need."

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