Has Switzerland been funding Hamas?
Has Switzerland been funding Hamas? Judiciary opened investigation into possible funding of terror group ‘several weeks’ before October 7 attack on Israel
- Hamas killed 1,400 people who were shot, mutilated or burnt to death in attack
The Swiss judiciary has opened an investigation into possible funding of Hamas from Switzerland weeks before the October 7 attack on Israel, the country’s attorney general said today.
Attorney General Stefan Blaettler told Swiss public radio station SRF this morning: ‘We have initiated [the investigation] a few weeks ago, before the deadly attacks happened.’
The investigation was launched ‘several weeks’ before October 7 ‘on suspicion of financing Hamas from Switzerland’, his office later added.
He refused to give more information to not jeopardise the proceedings, which already present difficulties for the Attorney General since Switzerland has not placed any bans on Hamas.
The country does not classify Hamas as a terrorist group – unlike the European Union and the United States – which could make the prosecution of potential suspects more difficult.
The Swiss judiciary has opened an investigation into possible funding of Hamas from Switzerland weeks before the October 7 attack on Israel, the country’s attorney general said today (pictured: Hamas gunmen attacking a kibbutz in Israel)
Attorney General Stefan Blaettler (pictured) said on Swiss public radio station SRF: ‘We have initiated [the investigation] a few weeks ago, before the deadly attacks happened’
But since the attack, mounting calls for the Swiss government to take action has prompted it to respond.
Four days after the attack, the government said it was ‘of the opinion that Hamas must be classified a terrorist organisation’.
In the investigation looking into possible financing of Hamas from Switzerland, the Attorney General has to prove that the group’s act are ‘terrorist’ – but videos and pictures of the shocking scenes following the October 7 attacks alone won’t be enough.
READ MORE: The horrors of Hamas: Chilling Israeli video compilation reveals savagery of terrorist gunmen who wore bodycams as they launched murderous rampage
One of the difficulties lies in Hamas reigning a territory and conducting civil duties alongside its terrorist activities, according to investigators.
A Middle East task force, established in the wake of the attacks, has been tasked with studying options for classifying the Islamist militant group as ‘terrorist’, although the government has given no timeline on the matter.
Swiss President Ignazio Cassis had two days after the attack argued that the government can only ban organisations that are also banned by the United Nations.
As a result, only Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group as well as a few related organisations are currently banned in Switzerland.
All the attempts to ban Hamas in parliament have so far failed but a committee in the lower house recently put forward a new proposal.
For the current investigation into the potential financing from Switzerland, Blaettler is confident he can achieve a conviction, saying: ‘One can prove this.’
Hamas militants stormed into Israel from the Gaza Strip two weeks ago and killed at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians who were shot, mutilated or burnt to death on the first day of the raid, according to Israeli officials.
Israel says around 1,500 Hamas fighters were killed in clashes before its army regained control of the area under attack.
Hamas militants stormed into Israel from the Gaza Strip two weeks ago and killed at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians who were shot, mutilated or burnt to death on the first day of the raid, according to Israeli officials (pictured: Israeli soldiers carrying the body of a victim of a Hamas attack on the Kfar Aza kibbutz)
More than 4,300 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed across the Gaza Strip in relentless Israeli bombardments in retaliation for the attacks by the Palestinian Islamist militant group, according to the latest toll from the Hamas health ministry in Gaza.
This is not the first time Swiss money is suspected to have financed activities by Hamas.
20 years ago, Swiss Association de Secours Palestinien was put on a black list by the US, but the Swiss Attorney General’s office never prosecuted the organisation.
In the same radio show, Blaettler also talked about the terror threat in Switzerland, which its security services have considered to be ‘heightened’ for months now, with the Attorney General’s office having launched about 70 investigations into terrorist activities.
Blaettler also said a big concern for security in the country were short-staffed police services, something he said he discussed with the Swiss Department of Justice and Policing as well as the parliament.
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