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Islamic charity launches probe over Hamas funding claims

    A leading Muslim charity in the UK is carrying out an internal investigation into its aid to Palestinians following Israeli claims of links to Hamas.

    Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon banned Birmingham-based Islamic Relief Worldwide from operating in the West Bank in June, accusing it of funnelling money to Hamas-controlled organisations.

    A spokesman for the charity said this week that it “categorically denies” the allegations and was a purely humanitarian organisation.

    But he added, “As a responsible organisation we are looking into this matter thoroughly to ensure that our processes for aid delivery have been followed.”

    Islamic Relief also said it will not use any funds from the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for Gaza, launched last month, until its review is completed. The DEC is a coalition of charities which include Oxfam and Christian Aid.

    A Charity Commission spokesman said that Islamic Relief had embarked on an “independent internal investigation” but made clear that the commission was not investigating the charity itself.

    “At this time, we are satisfied that the charity is responding appropriately to the incident,” the commission spokesman said.

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