Al-Aqsa balances frozen following AIVD investigation

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has frozen all the resources of the Stichting Al-Aqsa in the Netherlands. The extension of any further financial support to the foundation has also been prohibited. This measure has been introduced since the AIVD (General Intelligence and Security Service) submitted its findings from a recent investigation into the foundation to the Ministry.

The Dutch foundation Al-Aqsa - which describes itself as a Dutch/Palestine aid organisation with a humanitarian mission - collects money on behalf of the Palestinian organisation Hamas. Research into the financial transfers made by the Dutch Al-Aqsa foundation have revealed contacts with Hamas, an organisation with known social and terrorist elements. The investigation has shown that funds from the Dutch foundation have ended up with organisations related to Hamas that support or develop terrorist activities. The foundation is banned in Germany.

The regulation, which came into force on 9 April 2003, is contained in the terrorism sanctions regulations 2003, published in the Netherlands Government Gazette on 7 April 2003.

The latter regulations implement Security Council Resolution 1373 of 29 September 2001 and are based on Section 2(2) of the Sanctions Act 1977. Among other things Resolution 1373 laid down that all states must proceed to freeze the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of persons who commit, or attempt to commit, terrorist acts or participate in or facilitate the commission of terrorist acts. At the same time the member states must take measures to prohibit financial assets or economic resources from being made available to those persons or to prevent financial or other related services being extended to them.