Início Uncategorized Canada orders deportation of ex-employee of Hamas-linked aid group – National

Canada orders deportation of ex-employee of Hamas-linked aid group – National


Canada’s immigration tribunal has ordered the deportation of a Palestinian woman formerly employed by a Mississauga, Ont. relief group linked to Hamas.

Majeda Sarassra was deemed inadmissible to Canada on security grounds because she worked for the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy Canada.

The Immigration Appeal Division ruled the 45-year-old’s employment made her a “member” of IRFAN-Canada, which it said had engaged in terrorism.

She has appealed the Jan. 12 decision to the Federal Court.

Canadian authorities stripped IRFAN-Canada of its charity status in 2011 after federal auditors found it had sent $14.6 million to groups “associated with Hamas.”

The Canada Revenue Agency also said videos found at the group’s office near Toronto glorified “martyrdom” and portrayed the Palestinian conflict as a religious war.

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In 2014, the government placed IRFAN-Canada on its list of terrorist entities for using its “status as a charitable organization to fund Hamas.”


Photo of Majeda Sarassra over image of her passport. She faces a deportation order over her past work with IRFAN-Canada.


Federal Court

Before arriving in Toronto from Venezuela in 2016 and claiming refugee status, Sarassra worked part-time for IRFAN-Canada in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Her role was to distribute money to children whose fathers had died. Immigration officials alleged she was an “important part of IRFAN-Canada operations in Palestine.”


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As such, they argued, she was a member of a terrorist group. She said she was unaware IRFAN-Canada had been sanctioned for terrorism until she came to Canada.

Following a hearing held in 2022, the Immigration and Refugee Board initially dismissed the Canada Border Services Agency’s case against Sarassra.

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But the government appealed, and the Immigration Appeal Division determined she was inadmissible as a “member of IRFAN-Canada by virtue of her employment with the organization.”

“She held a position of trust given her responsibility of the distribution of money,” according to the decision.


Palestinian scouts hold signs in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, Bethlehem, Dec. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean).

The ruling said that while Hamas was responsible for hundreds of terrorist attacks, it relied on “funding and support from sympathizers and charities around the world.”

“Most of the funding for Hamas comes from outside of Palestinian territories, largely from global charities,” the IAD said.

“The evidence shows links between IRFAN Canada and Hamas.”

Sarassra’s appeal to the Federal Court argues that she had only “low-level involvement” in IRFAN-Canada for one year until 2014.

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In her statements, she said children of fathers killed fighting Israelis did not qualify for the money she distributed, nor did those imprisoned in Israel.

According to the government, however, records show her employment may have begun in 2010, and she initially told officers she remained on the job until 2016.

She responded that she had trouble with dates.

When a CBSA officer asked her if any of the late fathers of children receiving IRFAN-Canada money were Hamas members, she replied, “I don’t know this.”

The court has not yet ruled on the matter. At issue is the definition of membership, and whether it has been properly applied in her case.


Israeli soldiers on tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, as seen from southern Israel, March 21, 2024.


THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Ohad Zwigenberg

In her refugee claim, Sarassra said Palestinian Islamic Jihad members broke her leg and threatened her after she refused to join them.

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“This is a terror organization, whose objective is not only the destruction of the state of Israel but also despotic control over the Palestinian civilians,” she said of Islamic Jihad.

She also told the CBSA she considered Hamas a terrorist group.

Neither her lawyer nor the CBSA responded to requests for comment by deadline.

On Oct. 7, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists attacked from Gaza, killing 1,200 Israelis and taking more than 200 hostages, prompting a military response in Gaza that has left tens of thousands dead.

The government reviewed IRFAN-Canada’s status and, on June 7, decided it should remain a designated terrorist entity, according to Public Safety Canada.

On Tuesday, Canada imposed new sanctions on the Hamas financial network.

Stewart.Bell@globalnews.ca

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





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