A pro-Hamas organization in Italy has been claiming to be fundraising to assist Hamas terrorists due to the war between Israel and Hamas, but its ability to do so is now limited. The Charity Association for Solidarity with the Palestinian People (ABSPP) in Italy has been fundraising for Hamas activity, according to a recent report by Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Ministry.
The Jerusalem Post has tried to proceed with donations through PayPal, an American multinational financial technology company operating an online payments system. Earlier on Thursday the payment through PayPal was available, but after an inquiry by the Post, the link stopped working, stating “This organization does not meet the conditions for accepting donations at this period of time.”
A PayPal spokesperson responded to the Post, stating: “PayPal devotes significant resources globally to combat illicit activities, including terrorist financing. Our team of financial crime experts use a combination of cutting-edge technology and manual investigative work to not only detect but also prevent illicit activity. We take this responsibility very seriously.” They wouldn’t relate to the fact that they have cut ties with this Hamas-affiliated organization.Mohamad Mahmud Ahmad Awad Hanun, who established ABSPP, has been listed in Israel as a member of a terror organization, according to the Israeli Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority.
ABSPP was a member of the Union of Good coalition. The Union of Good was designated in Israel and the United States in 2008 as a terrorism enabler due to allegations of channeling funds to Hamas. In 2021, the ABSPP accounts were closed due to suspicious transactions.
Shin Bet has investigated Hamas’s ‘charity’ funding network
“Hanun posted in March 2019 that Abu Laila was murdered by the ‘Zionist-Nazi army,’” the report detailed, referring to Omar Abu Laila, who was killed carrying out a fatal attack on Israelis. It further described how Hanun eulogized teenage terrorists in Jerusalem through a song glorifying their violent acts.
Hanun also holds a senior position in the European Palestinian Conference, established by the Palestinian Return Centre, which was declared (2010) as part of Hamas’s European section. Over the years, prominent Hamas figures, including Ismail Haniyeh and Bassem Naim, have participated and spoken at their annual conference. Senior members of the Fatah movement link the conference to Hamas and have called for its boycott. Furthermore, ahead of the conference held in Copenhagen in 2019, pro-Fatah Palestinian sources reported that Iran sponsored the event, providing 350,000 euros to Hamas’s European leadership to fund the participants’ travel, with Hanun being specifically named as the representative in Italy.
The Shin-Bet, an Israeli intelligence body, published a report in 2009, addressing what it called the formation of “The Financial Coalition,” for Hamas, with its main headquarters situated in Saudi Arabia. This coalition, according to the report, has essentially established a diverse economic consortium that brings together various Islamic charity foundations and organizations operating across the Western world and in Arab countries. These include the Italian “ABSPP Foundation,” the Austrian “PHV” and “PVO Foundations,” the Belgian “Al Ikaz Foundation,” the “Holy Land Foundation” in the United States (until its declaration as illegal in 2001), and many others.
The ABSPP also offers donations through Stripe, an Irish-American company, that primarily offers payment-processing software and application programming interfaces for e-commerce websites and mobile applications. Stripe hasn’t yet responded to the Post’s request for comment.