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Five British aid organizations blacklisted by Israel; workers now risk arrest

Sept. 6, 2008 1:57 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 6, 2008 1:57 P.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Israeli Embassy in London gave warning to the British Government that nationals working in Palestine could be arrested for alleged links with Hamas, the party currently in control of the Gaza Strip, and labeled as a "terrorist organization" by several Western countries.

British aid workers, and Palestinians employed by Muslim Aid, Human Appeal International, Muslim Hands, Human Relief Foundation and Educational Aid for Palestinian could face problems with Israeli security now that their organizations have been accused of being part of a fundraising network for Hamas.

The Times of London reported that the organizations, all registered charities, rejected the accusations of links with Haas, and have called on the British government to have the ban on their organizations lifted.

An Israeli Embassy spokesperson was quoted as saying "Israel in principle deserves the right to protect the lives of our citizens. So if we have to stop, or to act against, terrorist organizations or organizations which are somehow involved in financing, aiding terrorist activities, we have to act against them."

The organizations have been charged with being part of the "Union of God" foundation, which is allegedly a worldwide body collecting funds for Hamas.

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