RealNews

Israel urges EU to freeze assets of Hamas funders

Israel is pressing the European Union to follow Washington’s example and freeze the assets of charities raising funds for Hamas, the radical Islamic movement responsible for last Tuesday’s suicide bombing, which killed 20 bus passengers on their way home from prayers at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. President George Bush announced on Friday that the United States would act to block the bank accounts of five Hamas support groups, including the British-based Palestinian Relief and Development Fund, also known as Interpal. The other four have their headquarters in France, Switzerland, Austria and Lebanon. The groups claim that they are funding Hamas’s extensive social programme in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, not its military activities. Washington also froze the personal accounts of six Hamas leaders in Gaza, Syria and Lebanon. They included Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the movement’s charismatic founder, and Abdel Aziz Rantisi, its principal spokesman, who was the target of a botched Israeli assassination attempt in June. Hamas says they have no private wealth to freeze. Full Story

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