In response to articles published on the UKLFI website on 25 February and 20 March 2019 the Trustees of Interpal have requested that UKLFI publish a statement setting out their reply by way of explanation or contradiction, pursuant to section 15(2) of the Defamation Act 1996.
The statement, provided by Interpal, is as follows:
The Trustees of the charity Interpal, and including its Trustee Dr Essam Mustafa, wish to correct a number of defamatory statements made about them on the UK Lawyers for Israel website and Facebook page.
On 25 February 2019 UKLFI published the following statement:
“Interpal has been designated as a terror group in the US, Australia and elsewhere.”
20 March 2019, UKLFI published the following statements:
“In August 2003 the US Treasury described Interpal as a Hamas related charity and designated it as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT), freezing its assets in the US and prohibiting transactions with US nationals.
…The Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the US Department of the Treasury, designated Interpal as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).”
Interpal and its Trustees wish to make it clear that they vigorously deny, and have always vigorously denied, any involvement whatsoever in or support for terrorism, including the funding of terrorism. Interpal and its Trustees do not engage in that activity. The allegations are simply false.
Despite various requests from Interpal and the Charity Commission, the United States authorities have failed to provide any evidence or proper reasons whatsoever to justify the designations.
Interpal continues to operate, wholly lawfully, under the aegis and supervision of the Charity Commission of England and Wales. Since 1994 Interpal has provided humanitarian and development aid to very many Palestinians in need. Its Trustees are committed to that mission and, through the generosity of Interpal’s donors, to continue to implement projects which have a long standing positive impact for individual beneficiaries and the wider community.
Also on 25 February 2019 UKLFI published the following statement regarding Dr Mustafa:
“Essam Yusuf (aka Essam Mustafa) was one of the founding trustees of EAP. He was also a founding trustee of Interpal, and Secretary General of the Union of Good. He was identified by the U.S. Treasury as serving on the Hamas executive committee under Hamas leader Khaled Misha’al, from mid-2007.”
Dr Mustafa wishes to make clear that he has never been named by the United States as serving on the Hamas Executive Committee, whether from mid-2007, or at all. There is no truth whatsoever to the allegation that he has ever served on the Executive Committee of Hamas, or held any other role in that organisation.
21 February 2020