July 12, 2010 / 2:25 PM / 9 years ago

Germany bans donor group with Hamas links

BERLIN, July 12 (Reuters) - Germany banned a donor organisation on Monday that has funnelled money to Hamas, saying its support for the Palestinian Islamist group meant it forfeited the right to exist. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that by supporting Hamas, the donor group — the IHH (Internationale Humanitaere Hilfsorganisation) — had violated a clause in the German constitution on international goodwill.

There was no one immediately reachable for comment at the IHH and the organisation’s website appeared to be disabled.

Hamas, which controls Gaza, refuses to recognise Israel.

Germany has staunchly supported Israel following the Nazi genocide of European Jews in World War Two and has strongly criticised Hamas, which Israel considers to be a terrorist organisation.

De Maiziere said the Frankfurt-based IHH abused donors’ good intentions "to support a terrorist organisation with money supposedly donated for charitable purposes."

"Organisations that directly or indirectly align themselves from German soil against Israel’s very right to existence have forfeited their right to form an association," de Maiziere added in a statement. (Writing by Paul Carrel)

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