Top House lawmakers demand federal probe into US nonprofit linked to Hamas operative

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A pro-Palestinian news outlet linked to Hamas is facing scrutiny from three separate House committees in a joint memo urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate.

Ways & Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, R-Mo., Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and Education & Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday accusing The Palestine Chronicle and the U.S. nonprofit that runs it of running afoul of several laws.

‘We write to urge you to investigate The Palestine Chronicle and People Media Project for violating the law, particularly for providing material support to a known terrorist organization in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2339B, for filing a false tax return in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206, and for failing to file a valid tax return and pay estimated taxes in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7203,’ the letter said.

It comes after multiple Israeli hostages taken into Gaza by Hamas during their Oct. 7 terror attack were found in the home of Abdallah Aljamal, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Aljamal was a contributor to media outlets, including The Palestine Chronicle, as well as a spokesman for the Hamas-run Gaza Labor Ministry. He was killed by the IDF during an operation to rescue the hostages.

‘During his time as a ‘journalist,’ Mr. Aljamal was listed as a ‘correspondent’ on The Palestine Chronicle’s website, but the publication later changed the description to ‘contributor’ after news of his holding innocent Israeli hostages was reported around the world,’ the lawmakers’ letter said.

The Republicans also accused The Palestine Chronicle and People Media Project of having ties to Iran, writing that the outlet’s founder and editor-in-chief, Ramzy Baroud, ‘has also written for Kayhan International, an outlet that reportedly is funded by Iran’s supreme leader. Notably, Kayhan International has had six of its published writers appear on state-controlled sites that were previously seized in 2020 by the U.S. government after finding that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps unlawfully used them to further a global covert influence campaign.’

The lawmakers pointed to a federal statute that states anyone under U.S. jurisdiction providing ‘material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and, if the death of any person results, shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life.’

‘[B]ased on the facts available, The Palestine Chronicle and People Media Project appear to be at the very least complicit in supporting Hamas, and at worst full-fledged financiers of terrorism,’ the letter said.

Lastly, they accuse People Media Project of knowingly misrepresenting its finances on tax forms, arguing the DOJ would be ‘remiss’ to not investigate alleged discrepancies in the group’s revenue in recent years.

‘I am deeply concerned that an organization enjoying tax-exempt status in the United States not only employed a journalist who worked with Hamas to hold innocent Israelis hostage, but also chose an editor-in-chief who appears to have links to Iran and potentially its terror financing network,’ Smith told Fox News Digital. ‘Any individual or organization attempting to manipulate our tax code in furtherance of terrorism must be punished.’

Smith’s Ways & Means Committee opened a separate investigation into the outlet and its related nonprofit last month and demanded that the IRS revoke People Media Project’s tax-exempt status.

As of Monday, the nonprofit is also being sued by Almog Meir Jan, one of the Israeli hostages who was reportedly held at Aljamal’s home.

Fox News Digital reached out to the DOJ and The Palestine Chronicle for comment.

Fox News Digital’s Joseph Wulfsohn contributed to this report.

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