A Dutch Foundation tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood and linked to a major Gaza flotilla organizer has been working with the the Turkish charity known as Insani Yardim Vakfi (aka IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedom and Humanitarian Relief), the sponsor of the ship involved in the confrontation with Israeli naval forces. According to Dutch records, the Stichting (Foundation) KUDUS VAKFI was founded in 2003. Kudus Vakfi is translated from Turkish as “Jerusalem Foundation” and it appears that Kudus Vakfi is the same Foundation known earlier as the Stichting Jersalem (Jerusalem Foundation) and which is a likely successor organization to the Al-Aqsa Foundation Netherlands, whose assets were frozen in April 2003 by the Ministry of the Interior who stated that the organization was collecting money for Hamas and/or organizations related to Hamas that support or develop terrorist activities. According to sources in the Netherlands:
On July 18, 2003, shortly following the financial freeze on All-Aqsa Holland, an organization known as Stichting Jerusalem was founded and registered at the same Rotterdam address as Al-Aqsa Holland. The organization website describes itself as “….a Dutch/Palestinian organization, which aims at humanitarian aid and support. The foundation gives humanitarian aid and support to Palestine, for the Palestinians who live already dozens of years in difficult circumstances.” Internet domain records indicate that the Jerusalem Foundation has had a domain registered since July 30, 2003. The domain contact is listed as A. Sonlu, likely the same individual identified as Ali Atilla Sonlu, the Chairman of Al-Aqsa Holland. The site is operational with several web pages containing general information about the Foundation, Palestine, and the Foundation’s activities. According to the records of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, the following individuals are registered as board members of the Jerusalem Foundation:
-Ali Atilla Sonlu (Chairman)
-Rashad Abdil-Rahman Al-Baz (Treasurer)
-Martine van den Oever (Secretary)
The first two individuals are also members of the board of Al-Aqsa Holland and were discussed above. Martine van den Oever is described in local media reports as a young, blond, female Dutch convert who first registered the Jerusalem Foundation with the authorization of Mr. Sonlu and Mr. Al-Baz..According to these reports, Ms. Van den Oever traveled twice to Syria to attend a Koran school several hours outside of Damascus, The trips were made at least partly under the auspices of Al-Aqsa and the last time for a six month period. The report states that she also intended to travel to Gaza but was dissuaded from doing so by Al-Aqsa on the grounds that it was too dangerous at that time.
In addition to the two board members who are also board a member of Al-Aqsa, the Jerusalem Foundation is currently listed as a member organization on the 101 Days Campaign Arabic website. Also, the server hosting the current 101 Days Campaign website is registered to the Jerusalem Foundation. Members of the Dutch parliament and media do appear aware that the Jerusalem Foundation appears to have been created as a successor organization to Al-Aqsa Holland, However in answers given in December 2003 to a parliamentary inquiry on the subject, the Dutch domestic intelligence service stated that while they were aware of the connections between Al-Aqsa Holland and the Jerusalem Foundation, no action was forthcoming.
According to a NEFA Foundation report, Ali Sonlu was also a founder of the Al-Aqsa Foundation in Belgium.
Evidence that Kudus Vakfi is the same organization as the Stichting Jerusalem discussed above and under the leadership of Mr. Sonlou includes:
- Both organizations are registered under the same Dutch Chamber of Commerce number.
- An article posted on the Kudus Vakfi website describes Mr. Sonlu as the Kudus Vakfi President.
- As late as December 2009, Ali Sonlu was the registered contact for the Kudus Vakfi Internet domain.
The same article states that Kudus Vakfi and Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH) were working together to send medical equipment into Gaza.
It should be noted that the Al-Aqsa Foundation in the Netherlands and Belgium, Stichting Jerusalem, and IHH are all known to have been members of the Union of Good, described in another NEFA Foundation report as follows:
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.
A previous post has discussed Amin Abou Rashed (aka Amin Abou, Amin Rashid), a Dutch national currently held in Israel custody who had been traveling with the flotilla. As described in that post, Mr. Rashed was a founding member of the European Campaign To End the Siege on Gaza, discussed in an earlier post as one of the major members of the flotilla coalition and a “coordinator of humanitarian affairs and representative of the European aid fleet in Holland.” Another report by the NEFA Foundation further identifies Mr. Rashed as a part of the Al-Aqsa Foundation in the Netherlands which, as noted above, was chaired by Mr. Sonlu. Another prior post identified the connections between the European Campaign To End the Siege on Gaza and the Union of Good.
Other previous posts have also described the heavy participation of the Global Muslim Brotherhood in the Gaza flotilla, the Muslim Brotherhood background of the Al Jazeera journalist reporting from the Turkish ship involved in the confrontation, and the intent of the Global Muslim Brotherhood to send another flotilla to Gaza