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Jewish newspaper apologises to pro-Palestinian charity for terror-list claim

Jewish Chronicle apologises after defamation complaint by Interpal
The Jewish Chronicle apologises to Interpal after defamation complaint (Interpal)

British newspaper The Jewish Chronicle apologised on Friday to pro-Palestinian charity Interpal for referring to its listing by the United States as a terror organisation, and published an article from the charity's director. 

"We wish to make clear that Interpal and its Trustees have always strongly contested the US designation, and Interpal continues to operate fully lawfully under the aegis of the Charity Commission," the Jewish Chronicle wrote in the apology,

The US Treasury Department listed Interpal in 2003 as having links to Palestinian resistance group Hamas, without providing evidence to support these allegations. Investigations by the British Charity Commission have concluded that Interpal is a "well-run organisation". The NGO has repeatedly filed - and won - defamation suits in the UK based on the unsubstantiated US designation.

The Jewish Chronicle also retracted claims that Interpal chairman Ibrahim Hewitt was an "Islamic extremist".

"Mr Hewitt has asked us to make clear that he does not condone discrimination in any form, including against gay people or adulterers, and we are happy to do so."

The contested article, which is no longer available on the newspaper's website, reacted to British Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn's appearance at a 2011 conference that called for the release of Palestinian prisoners, some of whom were imprisoned after attacks on Israelis. 

The apology and response from Hewitt was published after a defamation complaint made by Interpal. 

"The charity provides humanitarian aid to people in desperate need; no more, no less," Hewitt wrote. 

"Despite the nobility of these efforts that are rooted in morality and humanitarianism, Interpal has come under attack for its work by those who seek to politicise, and subsequently prevent, humanitarian aid reaching Palestinians in need."