|Documents captured during the Lebanon war reveal how Hizbullah raises funds. Through a non-profit association, the terror group collects donations from Lebanese in Lebanon, the U.S. and elsewhere.|
The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at Tel Aviv's Center for Special Studies translated and analyzed leaflets and other documents related to Hizbullah's fund-raising efforts that were captured from Hizbullah terrorists in the villages of Aita al-Sha'ab and Aita'run earlier in August. The leaflets and other documents captured were issued by a Hizbullah institution called the Islamic Resistance Support Association.
The Islamic Resistance Support Association was established in 1989 to regularize the terrorist organization's fund-raising campaigns. Headed by Al-Hajj Hussein al-Shami, it works through Beit al-Mal , the Hizbullah bank, many branches of which were attacked during the recent war. Israel's intelligence community surmises that most of the money collected go towards the purchase of weapons for Hizbullah terrorist operations. Funds are raised in Lebanon and Muslim communities – especially Shi'ite – around the world, mainly in the Gulf States and western countries.
|An Islamic Resistance Support Association leaflet emphasizing that contributions will be used to buy weapons to destroy Israel . (Taken from the village of ‘Aita al-Sha'ab). The picture on the front (left) shows a collection box in the form of the Dome of the Rock.|
The association collects considerable sums of money in Lebanon from both the private and public sectors, including businesses, mosques, educational institutions, gas stations, shopping centers, and road blocks. In addition to national fund-raising campaigns, the Islamic Resistance Support Association has scattered thousands of collection boxes in places where people (especially Shi'ites) congregate. Some of its activities are coordinated with other Hizbullah socio-economic institutions, such as the building fund (jihad al-bina'), and the fund for the wounded and the martyrs' fund (muasasat al-shaheed).
|The logo of the Islamic Resistance Support Association contains the Arabic word daam (“support”) in red, its first letter fashioned as a hand holding a pen which ends in a rifle. The upper part shows a half-circle symbolizing the globe.|
HIzbullah's efforts to raise funds extend to Lebanese Shi'ite communities around the world . The Islamic Resistance Support Association was involved in raising funds in Detroit , Michigan, where there is a large Shi'ite Muslim population of Lebanese extraction. The money was collected in the same sort of collection box used in south Lebanon, placed in restaurants frequented by Detroit 's Shi'ite population.
The Islamic Resistance Support Association had a website, which recently became non-accessible, through which contributions to Hizbullah could be made. The website also called for financial support of the Arabs of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza to strengthen their terrorist campaign (intifada) against Israel.
During the recent combat, Hizbullah fund-raising leaflets were found in the possession of Hizbullah terrorists in the village of Aita al Sha'ab. They had been distributed to the local population at home, in schools and in stores to encourage contributions. The leaflet's illustration makes it clear that the contributions will be used to buy weapons to destroy Israel. They were produced by the Islamic Resistance Support Association for a fund-raising campaign nicknamed “savings account.” To that end thousands of collections boxes like those shown on the leaflet [see top of article] were distributed, especially to children.
The other side of the leaflet states: “Your support is a mark of honor, and your participation is pride. Together we will defend the homeland.” [ Hizbullah customarily represents itself as “the shield of the homeland,” justifying the fact that it does not disarm]. It also states: “The resistance collection box is small and placed inside the house so that all members of the family will sense the importance of participating in supporting the resistance by contributing. The contributions will be collected monthly by male and female volunteer representatives of the Association …” Under that it states: “Help support the ‘resistance,' request [a collection box] for your house by filling out the attached form and giving it to Association representatives who can be reached by calling the following numbers…” (followed by a list of phone numbers in Beirut and north and south Lebanon ).
At the bottom of the leaflet is a coupon asking for name, address and phone number. On the back is written: “Help us distribute ‘resistance boxes' to the homes of your friends and neighbors.”
The Islamic Resistance Support Association also plays an important role in the battle for hearts and minds, especially of the younger generation, as is well-illustrated by the captured documents. The intention is to instill the youth with the principles of Hizbullah's radical Islamic ideology and the concept of the jihad against Israel and the struggle against the United States and the west according to the Shi'ite Islamic ideology exported by Iran to Lebanon .
An Islamic Resistance Support Association banner captured in the village of ‘Ait'arun, produced for “Resistance and Liberation Day,” celebrated by Hizbullah every May 25 to commemorate the IDF's withdrawal from the security zone on May 24, 2000 . On the background of a Lebanese flag, imprisoning the lower red stripe and almost obliterating the cedar tree, is an arm holding an upraised rifle, which appears on the Hizbullah emblem as well. It symbolizes its activism determination to continue its campaign to destroy Israel .
Hizbullah has turned the anniversary of the IDF withdrawal into a holiday glorifying its own role as “Lebanon's shield.” The day is celebrated with conferences, rallies and speeches by Hassan Nasrallah and other senior Hizbullah terrorists to indoctrinate the population with its radical Shi'ite brand of Islam.