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The Holy Land Foundation (HLF) was the largest Islamic charity in the United States. Headquartered in Richardson, Texas, and run by Palestinian-Americans, it was originally known as Occupied Land Fund. The organization's mission was to "find and implement practical solutions for human suffering through humanitarian programs that impact the lives of the disadvantaged, disinherited, and displaced peoples suffering from man-made and natural disasters."

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  • Holy Land Foundation
  • for Relief and Development
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  • The Holy Land Foundation (HLF) was the largest Islamic charity in the United States. Headquartered in Richardson, Texas, and run by Palestinian-Americans, it was originally known as Occupied Land Fund. The organization's mission was to "find and implement practical solutions for human suffering through humanitarian programs that impact the lives of the disadvantaged, disinherited, and displaced peoples suffering from man-made and natural disasters."
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  • Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development
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  • The Holy Land Foundation (HLF) was the largest Islamic charity in the United States. Headquartered in Richardson, Texas, and run by Palestinian-Americans, it was originally known as Occupied Land Fund. The organization's mission was to "find and implement practical solutions for human suffering through humanitarian programs that impact the lives of the disadvantaged, disinherited, and displaced peoples suffering from man-made and natural disasters." In December 2001, the U.S. government designated HLF a terrorist organization, seized its assets, and closed the organization after many years of surveillance authorized under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ("FISA"). In 2004, a federal grand jury in Dallas, Texas charged HLF and five former officers and employees with providing material support to Hamas and related offenses. The prosecution's theory was that HLF distributed charity through local zakat (charity) committees located in the West Bank that paid stipends to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers and Hamas prisoners; that Hamas controlled those zakat committees; that by distributing charity through Hamas-controlled committees, HLF helped Hamas build a grassroots support amongst the Palestinian people; and that these charity front organizations served a dual purpose of laundering the money for all of Hamas's activities. Simultaneously, in November 2004, a U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys ruled that HLF, along with Hamas-linked organizations the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), were liable for a 1996 killing of 17-year-old David Boim in Israel. This decision was the first time U.S. citizens or organizations were held liable under a 1990 federal law that permitted victims of terrorism to sue for civil damages. The first trial, in 2007, ended in the partial acquittal of one defendant and a hung jury on all other charges. At a retrial in 2008, the jury found all defendants guilty on all counts. The 2008 trial of the charity leaders was the "largest terrorism financing prosecution in American history." In 2009, the founders of the organization were given sentences of between 15 and 65 years in prison for "funneling $12 million to Hamas."
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