European Hamas Affiliate Deemed Illegal by Minister of Defense
27 December 2010 , 22:53
European Hamas Affiliate Deemed Illegal by Minister of Defense
The Center, founded in London in 1966, officially declares its sole mission as being a means of promoting the issue of Palestinian refugees. Archive photo: IDF Spokesperson
geresh
geresh
The Israeli Security Agency reports that the Defense Minister signed a decree this month declaring the Center as an illegal association, since it is an affiliate of the Hamas movement.  The organization is involved in initiating and organizing violent activity against Israel in Europe.

IDF Website

The Minister of Defense Ehud Barak signed a decree this month affirming that a Hamas affiliated organization, the Palestinian Return Center in England, is an association illegal in Israel. Based on a report by the Israeli Security Agency on Monday (Dec. 27), the Center is involved in initiating and organizing radical and violent activity against Israel in Europe, while de-legitimizing Israel's status as a nation among the European community.

Among other terror affiliated activities, the Center organizes many conferences in various European countries for Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood activists from all around the world, along with active members of the Center. The participants mostly include Hamas fundraising representatives in Europe, and even representatives of the Hamas organization from the Gaza Strip.

The Center, founded in London in 1966, officially declares its sole mission as being a means of promoting the issue of Palestinian refugees. However in reality, the Center functions as Hamas's organizational branch in Europe and its members are senior Hamas leaders who promote the movement's agenda in Europe, and directly interact with various Hamas leaders, particularly from Damascus. 

The Center's leaders include prominent Hamas activists including: Majad El Zir, Zahar Birawi and Maged Akil. Another activist, Assan Paur, also serves as a member of the Interpal Board of Trustees, an organization also declared to be a terrorist organization in Israel and in the United States on account of its direct involvement with Hamas global funding.

During the past few years, the Center became a leading contributor for the European Campaign for Ending the Siege on Gaza (ECESG) and was involved in transporting one of its main activists, Arafar Madi, to plan the violent confrontation on the Mavi Marmara ship in May 2010. They had worked in cooperation with the IHH Foundation in Turkey, as well as other Hamas fundraising bodies within Europe and around the world.

During recent Center conferences, taped speeches were broadcasted of Hamas leaders, who are banned from entering Europe since Hamas is considered to be a terrorist organization by the European Union. Hamas officials including the Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyah are banned from entering European Union nations. It should also be mentioned that the work of the Palestinian Return Center is only a part of the broader Hamas activism and support network within Europe, which is especially strong in England. The Center is only one affiliate out of many global Hamas associations which supports and recruits for Hamas terror activities inside the Gaza Strip.