Committee for Charity and Support for the Palestinians
Committee for Charity and Support for the Palestinians (CBSP) or Comité de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens (CBSP) is a French-based registered charitable organization that was founded in 1990. Its current president is Khalid Al-Shuli.
The CBSP's states its humanitarian mission is to provide emergency assistance and develop sustainable economic and social programs in partnership with local organizations so as to assist the most needy segments of the Palestinian population in Gaza, the West Bank, and Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon.
The CBSP has been designated a 'Specially Designated Global Terrorist' organization by the United States Department of the Treasury, and has been accused of being a fund raising organization for Hamas terror activities by the United States, Australia and Israel.
Field of work
CBSP's states its work programme is made up of four focus areas:
- Palestinian orphans and the disabled; providing support that includes scholarships for education and winter clothing.
- Needy families; providing support including food aid and emergency medical aid.
- Health care; providing support that includes hospital renovations and construction, the provision of medications and medical supplies, and salary support for health care workers.
- Sustainable development; work in this field ranges from assisting disabled individuals in finding permanent employment, building housing and water infrastructures, and supporting Palestinian farmers.
Alleged terrorist connections
The CBSP was listed as a terrorist fundraising group in Israel in 1997. Israeli police claimed the CBSP had provided cash rewards to the families of suicide bombers. In August 2003, the CBSP was listed by the United States Treasury as a terrorist funding organization, also under the allegation that the organization fundraised for Hamas. In November 2003, Australia announced it had frozen the assets of six leaders of Hamas, along with those of a number of charitable institutions - one of which was the CBSP.
The head of international relations for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Stanley Trevor (Shimon) Samuels, also accused the CBSP of funding families of suicide bombers. In response, the CBSP filed a defamation suit in a Paris court, calling the accusations "ridiculous", and stating that its charitable work consisted of providing aid to some 3,000 Palestinian orphans.
On March 8, 2007, the court ruled that documents produced by the Wiesenthal Center established no "direct or indirect participation in financing terrorism" on the part of the CBSP, characterizing the allegations as "seriously defamatory." Samuel was handed a suspended fine of 1,000 euros (1,300 dollars) and ordered to pay one euro in symbolic damages to the Palestinian support group
The Wiesenthal Centre appealed the court ruling, which it believed was unjustified, and won its case on appeal before the Paris Court of Appeal in October 2008. The court ruled that there was nothing defamatory in the Centre's allegations against the CNSP.
Crédit Lyonnais case
Thirteen Americans who sustained injuries from terrorist attacks in Israel, filed a lawsuit in a District Court in Brooklyn against the French-based bank Crédit Lyonnais in February 2006, alleging the bank knowingly allowed monies to be funnelled to Hamas by failing to quickly close banking accounts for the CBSP. Crédit Lyonnais claimed to have closed the accounts in September 2003, three years after it first noticed 'unusual activity' in the account in question.
The suit alleges that: "The financial services that the defendant knowingly provided to Hamas by collecting and transmitting funds on behalf of Hamas (with the knowledge that CBSP raises funds for Hamas) assists Hamas in its recruiting, rewarding, and providing incentives to suicide bombers and other terrorists",
- Comité de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens (French)
- Recent OFAC Actions
- Americans Sue French Bank In Terror Case February 24, 2006. The New York Sun
- cicad: Suisse: récolte de fonds pour le Hamas
- Nazi-hunting centre convicted for defamation. Agence France Presse. (March 8, 2007). Accessed 12 March 2007.
- LE CBSP PERD SON PROCES EN APPEL : defaite judiciaire pour les amis du Hamas en France