UK: MPs express support for Interpal, call for more MPs to sign

16th Dec 2013

By Elham Asaad Buaras

London, (The Muslim News): An Early Day Motion (EDM) has been tabled in the House of Commons on November 25, praising the work of a British charity Palestinian Relief and Development Fund (Interpal) and calling on the British Government to support the charity’s efforts to rescind America’s designation of Interpal as a “global terrorist entity” in 2003.

EDMs are formal motions submitted to the Commons by an MP. They are used to raise awareness of certain issues or causes and can be signed by any MP who isn’t a member of the Government or Speaker.

The motion’s primary sponsor is Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins, but it has also been sponsored by 24 other MPs from across the political spectrum.

Interpal has on three occasions, following allegations, been the subject of investigations by the Charity Commission for England and Wales. In all three investigations evidence was not found to prove alleged links between Interpal and organisations involved in terrorism.

Earlier this year a court in New York decided there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Interpal.

However, the designation remains.

EDM 786  reads: “That this House acknowledges the humanitarian work carried out for the people of Palestine by the British charity Interpal; commends the generosity of British donors to the charity; regrets that it has been denied full access to the banking system as a result of an unfounded designation by the US administration in 2003; notes that a US district court in New York saw no evidence that Interpal funded Hamas-supporting charities; further notes that the court threw out a case against NatWest Bank claiming it had knowingly facilitated Interpal’s alleged provision of money to these charities; further notes that the Treasury successfully intervened in this case; and calls on the Government to press the US administration to rescind its damaging designation of Interpal.”

Appealing for support, Interpal’s Chair of Trustee, Ibrahim Hewitt, appeals to constituents to: “write to your MP – via email or letter – requesting them to sign Early Day Motion 786 regarding Interpal. The EDM will be most effective if MPs sign it before Parliament’s winter recess. So please write to your MP by Monday, 16th December.”

The support of the British Government is vital to having the US designation rescinded. While it still stands Interpal’s efforts to help Palestinians in need will continue to be hampered.”

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