- Dubai-based Islamic charity that funded the terrorist group Hamas and possibly also Iraqi insurgents in war against U.S.
Based in Dubai, (United Arab Emirates), Human Appeal International (HAI) is an Islamic charity and a registered Non-Governmental Organization established in 1991 to: “provide relief to victims of natural disasters, wars and social hardship”; “improve the quality of life of underprivileged communities through … projects that aim to provide education, health and social development”; “facilitate secure provisions for orphans”; and “cooperate and coordinate with other relief organizations working in the same field.” As of December 2006, HAI’s work extended to the following countries: Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan & Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, and “Palestine.” (Notably, HAI does not list Israel as one of the nations wherein it is active, but instead identifies “Palestine” as an independent state.)
To accomplish the foregoing objectives, HAI solicits donations from the public. The organization’s current appeals include the following:
Middle East Crisis Appeal: Blaming Israel for the 2006 military conflicts with Hezbollah (in Lebanon) and Hamas (in Gaza), HAI stated: “Bombardment [by Israel] of Lebanon and Palestine has claimed the lives of more than 1100 people, mostly innocent civilians and children. … The infrastructure of Lebanon has been completely destroyed … The economy is being strangled …”
Palestine Food Appeal: “The current situation in the holy land of Palestine is in a dire state. … [O]ver half of the population is living below the poverty line … Curfews and checkpoints [imposed by Israel] have deprived the vast majority of Palestinians to work and earn a living. … The current unemployment rate is over 70%. Families have nothing to rely on for the basic need such as food, water and shelter.”
Horn of Africa Appeal: “Short rainfalls have resulted in the population of east Africa to be on the brink of starvation due to huge food shortages. Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Somalia are worst affected.”
HAI’s major ongoing projects include the following:
Education: This program seeks to “restore and improve educational institutions such as schools and day centers which are affected by natural disasters and war; … eliminate illiteracy …; reduce unemployment rates by providing specialized adult courses which will increase employment opportunities; … [and build and furnish] schools, providing students with schoolbooks, bags and accessories …”
Food: HAI ships food parcels to people in need. Valued at approximately $50 apiece, each parcel “provides enough food for a family for one whole month,” and contains flour, rice, tea, sugar, oil, lentils, dry baby milk, cheese, canned meat, beans, and tomatoes.
Medical: “Many people do not have access to hospitals, clinics, etc, while in some rural areas medical aid is 50 miles away and, with no transport, [it] can take days before treatment is given.” To address this problem, HAI has set up numerous medical convoys, mobile clinics, land clinics, and hospital sponsorships.
Water: This program “has helped tens of thousands of people benefit … through the installation of small hand-pumps, bore tube wells, and large tankers catering [to] villages of over 20,000 people.”
The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance is currently investigating HAI for suspected ties to international Islamic terrorism. According to the FBI, Hamas operations in Jordan are carried out through HAI. As early as 1996, a CIA document linked HAI to the now-defunct Saudi-based charity Muwafaq, which the U.S. identified as an al Qaeda front organization. That document further named HAI as a fundraiser for Hamas.
HAI’s Dubai website makes reference to an HAI donation of $27,000 to a hospital in the Palestinian Authority that is believed to have ties to Hamas; the website also solicits aid for Palestinians in Rafah and Jenin, where the Israeli army is trying to stop the flow of terror weapons via underground tunnels from Egypt. In November 2005 it was reported that millions of dollars in donations to HAI had been funneled directly to Hamas, where they helped fund suicide bombing operations in Israel.