Lloyds TSB blocks aid to Gaza
On 8 October 2008 Lloyds TSB wrote to the Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), giving them 60 days notice of withdrawal of their services as a clearing bank, unless they agreed they would no longer process transactions for Interpal, a charity sending aid to Palestinians in Gaza. In effect, this meant that the IBB would have to close down or freeze Interpal’s account or lose clearing facilities for all its customers’ accounts. After representations from The IBB, Lloyds TSB agreed to postpone this action until 30 January 2009.
The reasons for this action? Lloyds TSB allege that Interpal have links with terrorist supporters of Hamas. Two such previous allegations have been investigated by the Charity Commission and proved unfounded. Since Hamas are the democratically elected party running Gaza, it would be difficult for an aid organisation delivering aid to Palestinians not to have some involvement with them.