Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90
Armed and masked Hamas patrol in the streets of Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, March 1, 2024.

In the aftermath of the October 7 massacre, the United States, Israel, and more than a dozen allies established a task force focused on combating terror financing. Subsequently, they have employed sanctions to disrupt the activities of Hamas-affiliated financiers, currency exchanges, and corporate networks. Additionally, substantial monetary rewards have been offered for actionable intelligence on individuals facilitating financial support for terrorism.

However, according to a Sunday report by The Wall Street Journal (US, Israel at Odds Over Claims by Charities Linked to Hamas), over four months have passed since then, and the United States has not taken action against several nonprofit organizations alleged by Israel to be affiliated with Hamas. These include charities operating in the United States and Europe, which, according to current and former Western officials, have funneled tens of millions of dollars into Gaza since the onset of the conflict. While the US and other nations have taken steps against some of the flagged organizations, a senior US official informed the WSJ that in many instances, allies have been requesting credible evidence for a considerable duration but have yet to receive it.


The WSJ report notes that US reluctance to cooperate with Israel comes against the background of Israeli and American disputes regarding the IDF campaign in Gaza. But the US failure to censure Hamas-affiliated suspects is more than about politics, and revolves around identifying charities associated with Hamas and distinguishing them from those solely engaged in humanitarian efforts in Gaza. For instance, Israel’s National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing (defense ministry), a unit tasked with thwarting terror financing, enumerates various fundraising initiatives facilitated by LaunchGood, a Michigan-based nonprofit that mobilizes funding for numerous prominent Muslim charities worldwide.

LaunchGood hosts a Muslim Aid USA campaign, and two dozen other accounts Israel says are tied to Hamas. But it has also hosted campaigns for rebuilding Jewish cemeteries and supporting the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in 2018.

One from column A…

LaunchGood co-founder Chris Blauvelt told the WSJ, “Every charity currently fundraising for Palestine has to pass three separate compliance checks, including independently audited financials and annual reports, screening of beneficial owners and directors, and continuous monitoring of programs and transactions by our compliance software, which was developed by former US Treasury security officials.”

Islamic Relief Worldwide, one of the charities hosted by LaunchGood, denies having any ties to Hamas. Israel says otherwise.

Daniel Byman, a former US intelligence analyst, told the WSJ that Hamas-linked charities are essentially dual-purpose: Hamas operates an extensive network of charitable organizations that finance hospitals, schools, and other ostensibly humanitarian endeavors, yet also provide support to its military efforts.

“It isn’t that the hospitals that Hamas runs are false-flag operations, they overlap tremendously,” Byman told the WSJ.


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