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A claim that Jersey aid will ‘fund terrorists’ and reach Hamas.


The Island’s Jewish congregation leader has said it is “not the correct time” for Jersey Overseas Aid to donate money to the people of Gaza, claiming that the funds will be diverted to the terrorist group Hamas.

Stephen Regal, president of the Jersey Jewish Congregation, has written an open letter [below] to Chief Minister Kristina Moore after it was confirmed that £200,000.00 of aid would be provided to the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The donation came amid escalating violence in the Middle East, with thousands killed due to deadly attacks by Hamas terrorists during an incursion into Israel on 7 October, followed by retaliatory air strikes on Gaza by Israel.

In response to Mr Regal’s letter [below] to the Chief Minister, International Development Minister Carolyn Labey, who is chair of JOA, cites:-

  • “Robust controls” that are in place to ensure aid reaches intended beneficiaries and is not diverted for unauthorised uses.

Labey, defended their decision, saying that:-

  • All funds channelled via the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs were guided by “core humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence”.

The JOA Committee said:-

  • The money would meet the “most urgent needs of 1.26 million people in Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem”.

Mr Regal:-

  • Said while he applauded the decision to donate funds to the stricken people of the region, he added that it was “not the correct time” to make such a donation while Hamas governed Gaza.
  • Claimed there was “every indication” that the money would be diverted to Hamas – which is designated a terrorist organisation by the UK government – to support the group’s “reprehensible activities”.
  • Argued Aid should be split between both sides of the divide, with thousands of people in both Gaza and Israel having been displaced from their homes.



Dear Chief Minister,

I am writing in my capacity as President of the Jersey Jewish Congregation.

My letter is an open communication to you in your position as our Chief Minister but first I would like to thank you most sincerely for the help and support that you and members of your government as well as the numerous other services offered by the government to the Jewish Community of Jersey. This has been extremely reassuring during this time of crisis in the continuing war between the State of Israel and the outlawed terrorist group Hamas. I applaud the decision of the Jersey Overseas Aid Committee to send a donation to the stricken people of the region, unfortunately this is most certainly not the correct time to send this donation, whilst the region in question is governed by the outlawed terror group.

It is a proven fact that resources provided for the assistance of the community have been, on a continuous and continuing basis, diverted to the terrorist group in order to support their reprehensible activities. There is every indication that any funds or assistance provided at this time, shall be diverted in like manner.

As I have already indicated, I fully support a donation to the area, however in order to make certain of its usage, surely it would be better to wait a short time until the situation in Gaza has been stabilized, either by a lasting peace or by the stated elimination of the terrorist rulers of the territory. In this manner, we the people of Jersey can ensure that our tax revenues reach the correct recipients. In stating this, we should divide any aid to both sides of the divide, as there are thousands of individuals on both sides who are affected by this crisis and, who have been displaced from their homes in either Gaza or indeed Israel.

We should all be reminded that Israel did not start this war, it was started by the atrocity committed by Hamas on the 7 October 2023 when Hamas invaded Israel and slaughtered 1,400 innocent individuals.

Sincerely Stephen Regal, president, Jersey Jewish Congregation


In JOA’s original press release announcing our funding commitment to this crisis through the United Nations, we referenced that all UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs operations are guided by the core humanitarian principles of Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality and Independence. JOA follows these values closely and provides humanitarian support to people in need, not governments, and delivers needed assistance through trusted non-government partners with the relevant on-the-ground experience and capability.

JOA’s response is to the severe and growing shortages of food, water and medicine reported and to the over 1.4 million people internally displaced. According to both open sources and our humanitarian partners on the ground, the scale of the humanitarian situation in Gaza was determined by JOA commissioners as being deserving of funding – a decision echoed by many western governments, including the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Italy and France, who have maintained their commitment to meeting the humanitarian needs of the civilian population in the occupied Palestinian Territories, as reported in a joint press release over the weekend. If Jersey’s aid is to be as effective as possible, it is important that decisions are made early in any emergency so that assistance provided is ready for distribution once access to those affected can be secured.

JOA works within agreed international frameworks of development and humanitarian financing and in-line with the established international principles of Good Humanitarian Donorship. We support humanitarian action where it is needed, without discrimination between, or within, affected populations. As with all government donors, our Overseas Development Assistance is only eligible if it goes to a country included on the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee recipient list. These consist of all low and middle income countries, based on gross national income per capita as published by the World Bank.

Regarding assurance that the assistance provided will get to those individuals in need, the United Nations has extensive experience in such emergency situations. The UN has the personnel, procedures and systems in place to ensure assistance is delivered appropriately and provide the reporting back to JOA with the confirmation that Jersey taxpayers have rightly come to expect.

On this occasion JOA selected the UN’s occupied Palestinian Territories Humanitarian Fund. This fund is among one of the most respected agencies and mechanisms operating in the region, with robust internal controls and partner management. It applies targeted, location-specific geo-tagging for its implementing partners who must provide detailed information regarding the destination of relief items.

Real-time monitoring mechanisms, including on-the-ground verification to cross-reference partner reports, is used to ensure aid reaches intended beneficiaries and is not diverted for unauthorised uses. All aid currently passing through the Rafah crossing to Gaza is subject to Israeli military inspection.

JOA has been supporting the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs since 2016 – it operates in some of the most challenging environments in the world and delivers life-saving assistance to millions of people every year. JOA is proud to support their mission on behalf of the people of Jersey and has every confidence that the principled, effective and transparent delivery of aid is currently being applied in the occupied Palestinian territories.

On behalf of all JOA commissioners, our thoughts and prayers are with all civilians caught up in this appalling crisis.


Deputy Carolyn Labey, Minister for International Development and chair of Jersey Overseas Aid


By Tom Innes


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