On 11 April 2021, Christian Juhl, Danish MP for the left-wing Red-Green Alliance, participated in a virtual conference hosted by a recently established European Hamas support group. According to a Facebook post, the event was held “in solidarity with our prisoners in the prisons of the occupation”:
Today, (…) the third symposium will be held in the English language within the week of solidarity with our prisoners in the prisons of the occupation (…). [Translated from Arabic using Google.]
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As part of his speech, Juhl accused Israel of subjecting Palestinian prisoners to medical neglect and unnecessarily harsh treatment, calling on the international community and human rights organizations to intervene on behalf of the detainees. Juhl highlighted his party’s role in campaigning for solidarity with the Palestinian cause and closed his remarks by saying the international community had to boycott and to “protest against Israel everywhere we can do it.” (sic)
The online event was co-organized by a coalition of European-Palestinian advocacy organizations spearheaded by the European Palestinians Initiative for National Action (EPINA). According to a January 2021 analysis by the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR), EPINA is a European Hamas support group established in October 2020 and whose coordination office includes the chief Hamas fundraiser in Europe. EPINA’s founding director Majeed Al-Zeer has been identified by an Israeli NGO close to the country’s military intelligence as a Hamas activist who sought refuge in Britain in the 1990s. Until recently, Al-Zeer also held leading positions in several organizations part of the European Hamas support network and has participated in meetings of the Global Muslim Brotherhood, a transnational Islamist influence operation covered by the GIOR.
Prior GIOR reporting about the international Hamas support network has also included:
- A December 2020 report about a virtual Palestinian advocacy conference that featured Hamas support groups and three US Congresswomen.
- A March 2021 report about the Palestinian “Al-Aqsa International Week,” an online event that featured prominent international pro-Hamas activists.
- A March 2021 report that new elections have been held for the Palestinians in Europe Conference.
The Hamas charter says that it is “one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine,” and a Hamas journalist has acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons. Hamas is known to be supported financially and politically by the GMB.
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