A UK charity, which is closely linked to the terrorist group Hamas, has been reported to the Charity Commission.
UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), a voluntary association of lawyers combatting anti-Israel and antisemitic activity, has submitted a complaint to the Charity Commission regarding Education Aid for Palestinians (EAP).
Several donations platforms and financial organisations that dealt with donations to EAP have already severed their links with the charity, due to EAP’s links to Hamas. However, EAP remains a registered UK Charity, and benefitted from over £58,000 of tax payers’ money through gift aid in 2017.
EAP was declared a banned association in Israel in 2008 for being part of Hamas’ fund raising operation, the Union of Good. The Union of Good was itself designated as a terrorist organisation in the US in 2008, for diverting charitable donations to support Hamas members and the families of terrorist operatives.
Over half of EAP’s £1.4m income in 2017 came from Interpal, another UK charity which is designated as a terrorist organisation in the US, Canada, Australia and Israel.
The current chief executive officer of EAP is Muin Shabib, a former Hamas commander who worked for the Hamas financial network, according to the US Office fof Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
Shabib was the person who at a 1993 Hamas meeting in Philadelphia, recorded by the FBI, categorised the institutions tied to Hamas, so charities such as Interpal and EAP, which were founded in around 1993 / 4, would know exactly which Hamas institutions to support. The recording was part of the evidence regarding the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which had been the largest Islamic charity in the USA. In 2009, its founders sentenced to between 15 and 65 years in prison for funnelling $12 million to Hamas.
Zaher Birawi, one of EAP’s current trustees has been personally designated as a terrorist in Israel, for his unlawful association with Hamas. Birawi was chair of the board of trustees of the Palestinian Return Centre, which was designated by Israel for its links to Hamas in December 2010. He was a director of the Palestinian Return Centre from 1998 to 2009.
Birawi has been involved in organizing and launching flotillas against Israel, and was spokesman for Viva Palestina, an organisation that was removed from the UK register of charities following an inquiry in 2013. The Charity Commission have only this week published findings from the 2013 inquiry, saying that Viva Palestina “may not have conducted any charitable activity or distributed any humanitarian aid.”
Hamas’s official website refers to Birawi as Chairman of the “International Coordination Committee for the Great Return March.”
EAP pays fees for around 60 students at the Hamas controlled University College of Applied Sciences (UCAS) in Gaza. UCAS is, according to the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) , a centre for the during the development and storage of weapons.  Consequently it was targeted by them during the 2008, 2014 and 2018 conflicts..
UCAS is the host and founder of the annual Palestine Festival for Childhood and Education in Gaza, an event which encourages children to act out acts of terrorism. The festival events have included young veiled girls and boys in military uniforms simulating stabbing attacks on Israelis, killing IDF soldiers and releasing Palestinian terrorist from Israeli jails.
The Islamic University of Gaza (IUG), another Hamas institution, has been the recipient of EAP’s donations. Munir Ashi, former chairman of EAP’s trustees, visited IUG in March 2009 and presented them with a donation of £120,000 in order to rebuild the IT and Science laboratories. IUG is also reported to be a Hamas weapons development and storage centre and was, as a result, bombed by the IDF during the Gaza wars in 2008 and 2014.
Caroline Turner, director of UKLFI commented: “Fundraising accounts stopped dealing with EAP when they became aware of its terrorist links. UK tax payers are currently supporting an organisation that is designated as a terrorist entity in Israel and is closely linked to Hamas. It is time for the Charity Commission to act, and I hope it does so more quickly than it did in the case of Viva Palestina, where the results of a 2013 enquiry were only published 6 years later.”
For the full complaint by UKLFI to the Charity Commission:
A Gaza Vocational College Devastated by the War