Raid prompts charity to end Gaza appeal


A Sydney-based Muslim charity alleged to have distributed funds to Hamas canceled its Gaza appeal
following a police raid.

Muslim Aid Australia removed the “Gaza crisis” appeal from its Web site Friday, the day after a seven-hour raid by Australian Federal Police on its headquarters.

The Sydney group is linked with the United Kingdom-based organization Interpal, which is also known as the Palestinian Relief and Development Fund and in 2003 was banned in Australia for its alleged links to terrorism.

The federal police and counterterrorism officials seized computers and financial records, and interviewed staff and directors at the Muslim Aid Australia headquarters in Lakemba, the center of Sydney’s Muslim community.

Earlier this month, a Muslim Aid Australia director confirmed to The Australian newspaper that it used Interpal to deliver medical aid to Gaza.

Interpal also is banned in the United States, but not in Britain. The group vehemently denies any links to Hamas and has been cleared by the British Charity Commission of any ties to terrorism.

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