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Dutch court releases suspected Hamas terror financier pending trial

"We see how difficult the [jail] cell is for your health. We don't think you're going to flee," a judge told suspected terror leader Amin Abu Rashed.

Amin Abu Rashed (right) with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. Source: Facebook.
Amin Abu Rashed (right) with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. Source: Facebook.

A judge in the Netherlands has suspended the pretrial detention of a suspected Palestinian terrorist leader accused of raising millions for Hamas, the Rotterdam District Court confirmed to JNS on Wednesday.

“The suspect has already been detained in this case for almost a year and is now allowed to await the [trial] outside prison,” a spokesperson for the court told JNS, adding that “the court must constantly balance the interest of judicial proceedings against the personal circumstances.”

“Of course, there are conditions attached to this. For example, he must report if the prosecution/probation service requests this, and he must respond to summons from the court,” added the spokesperson.

Dutch authorities arrested Amin Abu Rashed, 55, and his daughter Israa in June of last year on charges of sending approximately €11.7 million ($12.7 million) to terrorists in the Gaza Strip and being part of “a criminal organization whose purpose is to support Hamas financially.”

The arrest of Abu Rashed, whom Israel designated as a European Hamas leader in 2013, was said to be the direct result of an Israeli investigative series produced by Ad Kan, a Zionist activist group.

His pretrial detention was extended for another two months in March, with the court taking particular note of transfers to the Islamic National Bank, a Gaza-based institution that Israel says operates as “a terrorist vault for Hamas, directly funding its rocket production operation.”

Branches of the bank were “used by the Hamas terrorist organization to transfer funds used to carry out attacks under the orders of Hamas’s current leader, Yahya Sinwar,” the Israel Defense Forces stated last year.

According to the Dutch Algemeen Dagblad daily, a judge told Abu Rashed on Wednesday that the decision to suspend his detention was made in light of the suspected terrorist’s “personal circumstances.”

“We see how difficult the [jail] cell is for your health. We don’t think you’re going to flee. We also will not give you an ankle bracelet. You can go home for the time being,” the court stated, per the local paper.

Abu Rashed leads the Israa Foundation in Rotterdam. The “charity” organization is part of a network known as the Union of Good. In 2008, the U.S. Treasury Department labeled the Union of Good a terror group.

Abu Rashed was also a central figure in the Netherlands’ branch of the al-Aqsa Foundation, part of the aforementioned Union of Good. The U.S. Treasury Department labeled the al-Aqsa Foundation a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entity in 2003.

Abu Rashid has been photographed embracing Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and attending Hamas events. During searches of his house and a business in the Rotterdam area, investigators found large amounts of cash and seized a bank account with a balance of some €750,000 ($815,000).

The Dutch branch of the Samidoun Prisoner Solidarity Network, a proxy of the E.U.-designated terror organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, lauded the court’s decision on Wednesday.

“Amin Abu Rashed will be released tomorrow! He will be reunited with his family and friends. We congratulate Amin and all Palestinians and their supporters with this victory!” the group said in an Instagram post.

“The court case will continue, but at least Amin can prepare himself in freedom,” the statement added.

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