Holy Land founders get life sentences


WASHINGTON (JTA) — A federal judge in Texas sentenced five men involved in raising money for Hamas to lengthy prison terms.

Jorge Solis on Wednesday sentenced Shukri Abu Baker, 50, and Ghassan Elashi, 55, who founded the Holy Land Foundation, to 65 years apiece, effectively life terms. Three others were sentenced to 15 to 20 years apiece.

The men were charged with funneling $12 million to Hamas after 1995, when the Clinton administration banned any dealings with the terrorist organization, including its charities that were seen as building support for its attacks on Israel.

The Holy Land Foundation was based in Richardson, a Dallas suburb.

The convictions and sentences were a rare victory for federal authorities, who for years have sought convictions against alleged Hamas supporters in separate cases in Illinois, Florida and Virginia.

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