BERLIN (Reuters) – German police on Wednesday raided offices belonging to Islamic organizations suspected of financing the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which is on the European Union’s terrorism blacklist, the interior ministry said.
The ministry said the main targets of the raids were WorldWide Resistance-Help and Ansaar International which are believed to have collected funds for Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, under the guise of humanitarian aid.
The organizations say on their websites that they collect donations for people in Gaza, Somalia, Syria and other countries.
“Whoever supports Hamas under the guise of humanitarian aid disregards fundamental values of our constitution and discredits the commitment of many aid organizations,” Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said in a statement.
The ministry said the two organizations also supported Hamas through propaganda campaigns.
More than 2 million Palestinians are packed into the narrow coastal enclave. Israel withdrew its troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005 but maintains tight control of its land and sea borders. Egypt also restricts movement in and out of Gaza on its border.
Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Angus MacSwan