Congressman Ron DeSantis has proposed an amendment to Congress’s yearly appropriations bill which would ban taxpayer money from being provided to an organization called Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW). IRW has been banned both in Israel and the United Arab Emirates after investigations determined that the organization had ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and other extremist organizations. According to the Washington Free Beacon, IRW received $100,000 in grants in 2015 and $270,000 in 2016 via the Department of Health and Human Services.
This amendment proposed by Congressman DeSantis is important as it prevents an organization with ties to terror from receiving federal funds, but it also highlights the need for governments to go through their budgets to ensure that organizations like IRW have not somehow slipped into their budget for funding. We have stressed many times that terror organizations are like businesses and they cannot function without the necessary funds. We applaud Rep. DeSantis’s proposed amendment which is another step in the fight to block terror funding.
In a statement from 2006, Israel’s Foreign Ministry described IRW as follows:
The IRW was established in 1984 in the British city of Birmingham. It has branches in Gaza and Ramallah. The IRW provides support and assistance to Hamas’s infrastructure. The IRW’s activities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip are carried out by social welfare organizations controlled and staffed by Hamas operatives. The intensive activities of these associations are designed to further Hamas’s ideology among the Palestinian population.
These associations’ educational and religious institutions incite against the State of Israel and advocate terrorist actions against it and its citizens. The associations provide support to the families of terrorists who were wounded in actions against Israel, and to Hamas prisoners and detainees. These associations thus promote Hamas’s goals including the destruction of the State of Israel.