In 2009, the Shin-Bet, Israel’s intelligence body, shed light on the formation of “The Financial Coalition” for Hamas, with its central hub in Saudi Arabia. This coalition, as per the report, established a robust economic consortium, uniting various Islamic charity foundations and organizations globally. In this article, we delve into the intricate details of this financial network, particularly focusing on the Charity Association for Solidarity with the Palestinian People (ABSPP) based in Italy.
ABSPP’s Alleged Funding for Hamas Activity
According to a recent report by Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Ministry, ABSPP in Italy has been purportedly fundraising for Hamas activity. The Jerusalem Post attempted to make donations through PayPal, the American multinational financial technology company. However, after an inquiry by the Post, the link stopped working, with PayPal stating that “This organization does not meet the conditions for accepting donations at this period of time.”
PayPal, responding to the Post, emphasized its dedication to combating illicit activities, including terrorist financing. Notably, they did not confirm or deny cutting ties with the Hamas-affiliated organization.
ABSPP’s Founder and Connections
Mohamad Mahmud Ahmad Awad Hanun, the founder of ABSPP, is listed in Israel as a member of a terror organization, according to the Israeli Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority. He has a senior position in the European Palestinian Conference, established by the Palestinian Return Centre, linked to Hamas. Over the years, prominent Hamas figures have participated in their annual conference.
The Union of Good Coalition and ABSPP’s Closure
ABSPP was a member of the Union of Good coalition, designated in Israel and the United States in 2008 as a terrorism enabler for channeling funds to Hamas. In 2021, ABSPP’s accounts were closed due to suspicious transactions. Hanun’s social media posts, glorifying violent acts and supporting terrorists, add another layer to the controversy.
ABSPP’s Donation Channels
Apart from PayPal, ABSPP also offers donations through Stripe, an Irish-American company specializing in payment processing software. As of now, Stripe has not responded to the Post’s request for comment.
The International Reach of “The Financial Coalition”
The 2009 Shin-Bet report outlines the expansive reach of “The Financial Coalition,” with its main headquarters in Saudi Arabia. This coalition, as described, has established a diverse economic consortium involving various foundations and organizations across the Western world and Arab countries. Some of these include the Austrian “PHV” and “PVO Foundations,” the Belgian “Al Ikaz Foundation,” and the “Holy Land Foundation” in the United States.
In conclusion, the alleged connections between ABSPP and Hamas, as well as its involvement in “The Financial Coalition,” underscore the complexity of international financial networks supporting illicit activities. The geopolitical implications of such connections continue to be a matter of concern. As events unfold, it is crucial to remain vigilant and informed about the intricate ties between organizations like ABSPP and broader terrorist networks.