UK charity to resume operations in Palestine

Islamic Relief said it will resume its operations despite a ban from Israel who had described the aid group as a “terrorist organization”

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Britain’s largest Islamic charity is expected to resume operations in the Palestinian territories despite a ban from Israel which had described the aid group as a “terrorist organization,” UK’s daily The Guardian reported Thursday.

Islamic Relief, which operates in 44 countries around the world, will return to its “humanitarian work,” the group’s chief executive, Mohamed Ashmawey, told the daily.

Ashmawey said the Birmingham-based charity has checked all of its 2,500 employees for “terror links” and only one had a “problem” due to his previous job at the Islamic University of Gaza, which is recognized as a terrorist organization only by Israel.

The charity said it had started its own investigation and hired external consultants to look into its operations.

A spokesman for the Israeli embassy said it agrees with the country’s original designation of the Islamic Relief.

“The decision to designate the charity as an ‘unlawful association’ is part of Israel’s action to curb Hamas terror activity,” he said.

Following Israel’s ban, the group’s offices in the West Bank were raided leaving computers smashed, files taken and the office safe blown apart.

The charity, which spent £172m last year on aid, had been criticized several times by the Israeli press.

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