Saudi Arabia on Wednesday declared the Lebanese Qard al-Hasan Association a terrorist entity due to its direct connection with Hezbollah as the terror group’s financial arm.
Al-Qard al-Hasan, whose name in Arabic means “the benevolent loan,” offers interest-free loans up to $5,000 and is considered Lebanon’s largest non-banking financial institution giving microloans.
The association, officially a non-profit charity, is one of the tools by which the Iran-backed Hezbollah entrenches its support among the country’s Shiite population, even as the group has come under enormous criticism over the past year among Lebanese furious at the political elite.
“The association works on managing funds for the terrorist organization (Hezbollah) and its financing, including support for military purposes,” the Saudi Presidency of State Security said in a statement.
Riyadh said it was freezing all of Qard al-Hasan’s assets, prohibiting any entity from conducting direct or indirect dealings with the association, and warned of “strict measures” against those who are confirmed to be connected to the Hezbollah-linked group Wednesday.
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SOURCE: The Times of Israel, Emanuel Fabian