Israel Declares UK Palestinian Return Center To Be Hamas Affiliate


The Israeli military has reported that the Israeli Defense Minister has signed a decree declaring the UK-based Palestinian Return Center to be an illegal association based on its affiliation with Hamas. According to the report:

The Israeli Security Agency reports that the Defense Minister signed a decree this month declaring the Center as an illegal association, since it is an affiliate of the Hamas movement. The organization is involved in initiating and organizing violent activity against Israel in Europe. The Minister of Defense Ehud Barak signed a decree this month affirming that a Hamas affiliated organization, the Palestinian Return Center in England, is an association illegal in Israel. Based on a report by the Israeli Security Agency on Monday (Dec. 27), the Center is involved in initiating and organizing radical and violent activity against Israel in Europe, while de-legitimizing Israel’s status as a nation among the European community. Among other terror affiliated activities, the Center organizes many conferences in various European countries for Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood activists from all around the world, along with active members of the Center. The participants mostly include Hamas fundraising representatives in Europe, and even representatives of the Hamas organization from the Gaza Strip. The Center, founded in London in 1966, officially declares its sole mission as being a means of promoting the issue of Palestinian refugees. However in reality, the Center functions as Hamas’s organizational branch in Europe and its members are senior Hamas leaders who promote the movement’s agenda in Europe, and directly interact with various Hamas leaders, particularly from Damascus. The Center’s leaders include prominent Hamas activists including: Majad El Zir, Zahar Birawi and Maged Akil. Another activist, Assan Paur, also serves as a member of the Interpal Board of Trustees, an organization also declared to be a terrorist organization in Israel and in the United States on account of its direct involvement with Hamas global funding. During the past few years, the Center became a leading contributor for the European Campaign for Ending the Siege on Gaza (ECESG) and was involved in transporting one of its main activists, Arafar Madi, to plan the violent confrontation on the Mavi Marmara ship in May 2010. They had worked in cooperation with the IHH Foundation in Turkey, as well as other Hamas fundraising bodies within Europe and around the world.

During recent Center conferences, taped speeches were broadcasted of Hamas leaders, who are banned from entering Europe since Hamas is considered to be a terrorist organization by the European Union. Hamas officials including the Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyah are banned from entering European Union nations. It should also be mentioned that the work of the Palestinian Return Center is only a part of the broader Hamas activism and support network within Europe, which is especially strong in England. The Center is only one affiliate out of many global Hamas associations which supports and recruits for Hamas terror activities inside the Gaza Strip [From European Hamas Affiliate Deemed Illegal by Minister of Defense]

According to a UK Islamic website:

The PRC denies any association with or membership of any political party within the United Kingdom or abroad. It is, it affirms, an academic consultancy which focuses on the refugee issue; it has advised many international human rights organizations and has collaborated with UNRWA.

In addition to his role as chairman of the European Campaign to End the Siege On Gaza (ECESG), Arafat Madi (aka Arafat Madi Shoukri) is the executive director of the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) which has also strong ties to the global Muslim Brotherhood. Two PRC directors are also directors of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), generally regarded as part of the UK. Muslim Brotherhood. PRC director Ghassan Four is also a Trustee of INTERPAL, a key member of the Union of Good and part of the Muslim Brotherhood Hamas fund-raising network . PRC director Zaher Birawi is a Trustee of Education Aid for Palestine (EAP), also a part of the Union of Good. Mr. Birawi is also head of programming for Al-Hiwar TV which frequently features MB/Hamas individuals and organizations and was founded by Azzam Al-Tamimi, a U.K Muslim Brotherhood leader and close to Hamas. An Israeli web site, known to be close to Israeli military intelligence, has reported that Mr. Birawi, along with another PRC Trustee, are “past Hamas operatives who found refuge in Britain in the early nineties.” The PRC has also been the co-sponsor of several conferences in Europe associated with Hamas. For example, the PRC was the co-sponsor of the Sixth Palestinians In Europe Conference which featured Nihad Awad of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), former US. Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Akram Al-Adlouni, and Raed Salah, a leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel and close to Hamas. The 2009 conference was addressed via video link by Gaza Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

Numerous posts have discussed the activity of the ECEFG and the Palestinian Return Center

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