Qatar-based Sheikh Yousuf Qaradawi has allocated $21 million to a charity funded by Hamas to allow the Palestinian group to buy land and set up the organization’s infrastructure in Jerusalem, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin said on Sunday. Qaradawi, an 82-year-old Egyptian-born Muslim scholar with strong links to the Muslim Brotherhood, is a keen supporter of suicide bombings in Israel, which he describes as “martyrdom operations.” An aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Rafiq Husseini, dismissed the report. “We wish there was Arab money to buy threatened houses,” he said, “but that’s not the case.” Diskin made the comments during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. He also told the ministers that the Palestinian Authority and its security forces have been working actively to thwart the sale of Palestinian land to Jews, particularly in East Jerusalem. He added that Hamas was placing political and diplomatic moves higher on its agenda. Diskin said public statements by senior Hamas officials show the militant group’s efforts to portray itself as interested in an end to the conflict with Israel. The security service chief also told ministers that there had been a steady trickle into Gaza of foreigners linked to global jihad. He did not, however, elaborate or cite evidence. Gaza’s Hamas interior minister Fathi Hamad dismissed Diskin’s charge as baseless propaganda. Qaradawi himself could not be reached for comment.
The Union of Good is a coalition of Islamic charities that provides financial support to both the Hamas “social” infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities. It is headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, and most of the trustees and member organizations are associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood. The Union of Good was banned by Israel in 2002 and was recently designated a terrorist entity by the United States, although neither Youssef Qaradawi nor any of the Trustees were similarly designated. Despite the fact that action has been taken against some of its member organizations in Europe, many of its other European member organizations continue to operate. Further, the Union of Good itself does not appear to be under investigation in Europe.