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Analysis: Women’s flotilla to Gaza linked to terror groups

Rachel Avraham exposes how the recent women’s flotilla to Gaza is linked to Hamas and other terror groups. According to Mendi Safadi, “Again and again, we see the involvement of terror organizations and members of terror groups that are behind these flotillas.”
Women's flotilla to Gaza Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

After JerusalemOnline reported that Israel intercepted the Al Zaytouna-Oliva, which consisted of anti-Israel women who sought to break Israel’s naval blockade on the Gaza Strip and the Joint Arab List released a statement supporting the actions of the most recent Gaza flotilla, NGO Monitor issued a report exposing who stands behind funding this public relations stunt.  Based on their research alongside additional reports received by JerusalemOnline, it appears that the women’s flotilla to Gaza is linked at the very least indirectly to Hamas and other terror groups.

According to the report, the Women’s Ship to Gaza US Campaign received $27,000 from Nonviolence International, a group linked to the Holy Land Trust, Interfaith Peacebuilder and other groups. Holy Land Trust is headed by Sami Awad, who told an audience in 2009 that he has trained Hamas terror leaders and members of other terror groups. He is on record stating that non-violent demonstrations “are not a substitute for armed struggle.”

In 2016, Interfaith Peace Builders organized the Indigenous and People of Color visit to Israel and the West Bank, where they met with the radical Addameer group where they discussed the campaign to release Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist Bilal Kayed. They also sponsored a speaking tour for Bassem Tamimi, a supporter of the BDS Movement who has a history of violently confronting the IDF and of posting anti-Semitic content on social media.

And according to Mendi Safadi, the head of the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy and Public Relations, both Zaher Birawi and Chaled Al Sholi are the true face behind the women’s flotilla to Gaza.  He described Birawi as a Hamas leader and Sholi as a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood lobby in France: “In the web of lies orchestrated by the terror ships from Gaza, again and again, we see the involvement of terror organizations and members of terror groups that are behind these flotillas. This was the case with the IHH regarding the Turkish Mavi Marmara Ship and the Muslim Brotherhood regarding the Zaytouna-Oliva Ship.”

“Zaher Birawi is a Hamas member who heads the International Committee for Breaking the Siege on Gaza that is based in the UK,” Safadi explained. “We know from informational meetings around the world that most of the European activists that support the Palestinians don’t know the real story behind the people that incite them nor is the data presented to them verified. This is how they are drawn in by terror supporters and this distances the possible prospect for peace.”

“Zaher Birawi is not an innocent man,” he noted. “Zaher alongside the humanitarian activists that were displayed recruited many funds to produce Hamas tunnels under the cover of the supposedly starving children of Gaza in order to remove what is defined as the siege on Gaza. Birawi is part of a major cell for recruiting funds for Hamas terror tunnels.”

“And Chaled Al Sholi is known for his involvement in the Muslim Brotherhood, is a main figure alongside Birawi in activating the Zaytouna Ship and among them are human rights and peace activists whose views were altered in the face of terrorism and the oppression of the children of Gaza yet the residents of Gaza are repressed and under the control of the terror group Hamas.”


JOL Blogger | Rachel Avraham

Rachel Avraham has an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.  She received her BA in Government and Politics with minors in Jewish Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Maryland at College Park. She worked as a content manager and writer for United with Israel and had a blog in the Jewish Press. She has over 4 years of experience working for Zionist non-profits.

Avraham specialty is counter-terrorism, women's rights, minority rights, Middle Eastern affairs and international relations.  

She is the author of Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media, a ground-breaking book on terrorism in the Middle East that was endorsed by former Israel Consul General to Miami, former Israel Consul General to Chicago and former Deputy Mayor of Netanya Yitzchak Ben Gad. Click here to purchase the book

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