National media is reporting that Israel has seized the assets of a Hamas charity known to be supported by the global Muslim Brotherhood, accusing it of financing group’s militant activities and helping to recruit members. According to the report:
Witnesses said the Islamic Charity Movement’s two facilities in Hebron were shut down and Israeli troops confiscated computers, telephones and four buses. At least a dozen shops affiliated with the charity were ordered to close, they said. The Islamic charity is a front to strengthen Hamas’ foothold in the West Bank, the military said in a statement. Since the Hamas takeover of Gaza, Israel has closed a series of charities, offices and money-changing shops in the West Bank and Jerusalem that it says were Hamas fronts.
A former FBI analyst explains the role of the Islamic Charitable Society (aka ICM):
The ICS was not only a major conduit of funds for Hamas, it also raised funds through businesses it owns, including real estate in Hebron, and it a runs dairy farm. Unlike the majority of the nearly one hundred organizations closed down by Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank, almost all of which were small charities of little significance, the ICS is a backbone of the Hamas infrastructure in the southern West Bank. But beyond their fundraising and money-laundering roles, Hamas charities like the ICS provide day jobs and a veneer of legitimacy to Hamas operatives.
A number of the charities that are members of the Union of Good, headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, are know to have provided funds to the ICS.