The Deputy Head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Shaikh Kamal Al-Khatib, said on Monday that Israel’s banning of the group has deprived 23,000 orphans from their monthly sponsorship payments, Anadolu has reported.
“The Islamic Relief charity run by the movement,” explained Al-Khatib, “used to pay a minimum of $40 monthly sponsorship for each orphan spread around the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.”
The Israeli government banned the Islamic Movement on 16 November. Any person or group which associates with it officially is now subject to criminal penalties, including arrest. The authorities confiscated property belonging to the organisation and its bank accounts were frozen. Seventeen affiliated organisations, including charities, were closed down.
The sponsorships, explained Al-Khatib, were donated by Palestinians. He suggested that a solution for the problem is for wealthy Muslims to take over the orphan sponsorships and pointed out that efforts are being made in this regard, although, understandably, he gave no details.
The Palestinian Islamic Relief charity was established by the movement in 1988 and its main activity was sponsoring orphans; it has no connection to the UK-based Islamic Relief or Islamic Relief Worldwide. The charity has been closed by the Israeli authorities several times. “Israel seeks to crack down on all projects which lie behind the persistence of the Palestinians,” added Al-Khatib. He stressed that the charity’s accounts have always been subject to Israeli monitoring.