Is Obama accepting donations from Palestinian brothers living in the Gaza strip?

It sure looks like it. Pamela Gellar broke the story of two Palestinian brothers from Rafah in the Gaza strip — currently controlled by Hamas, a notorious terrorist organization — who have apparently donated over $29,000 to the Obama campaign.

A series of donations were made in 2007 by Monir Edwan and Hosam Edwan. The online form for donations on Obama’s campaign site was filled out by the two with the city listed as “Rafah, GA”. The only problem is that there is no Rafah in Georgia. There is, however, a city of Rafah in the Gaza strip. The brothers also used a zip code of “972”, which, of course, is not a zip code in Georgia. Here’s the file from Atlas Shrugs.

While I’m sure that Obama will have some far-fetched explanation, the least of which will probably include blaming staffers, it doesn’t matter. This is a violation of election laws, which prohibit contributions from foreigners and donations over $2,300 from one individual. Monir’s donations totaled $24321.41. Hosam’s totaled $5,200.13. All donations took place during October of last year.

World Net Daily tracked the brothers down:

A WND investigation tracked down the Edwans, who are brothers living in the Tal Esaltan neighborhood of Rafah, a large refugee camp in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

The Edwans are a large clan that include top Hamas supporters.

Speaking to WND, the two brothers praised Obama and admitted giving the money online to his campaign. They said they are not U.S. citizens or green card holders but are citizens of “Palestine.”

The Edwans denied they are affiliated with Hamas. Palestinian sources in Gaza confirmed the Edwans in question are secular, but could not say whether they supported Hamas.

Monir and Hasam Edwan denied their financial transactions online – listed as donations in U.S. government election filings – were actual donations to Obama’s campaign. Instead they claimed they purchased about $30,000 in Obama T-shirts from the presidential candidate’s online store – a contention that did not hold up during a WND interview, when they changed their story several times.

“My brother Hosam and I knew that Obama will be a big hit even before he became a candidate. We knew the guy would be a celebrity in Gaza so we decided to invest the amount of $29,000 to buy Obama T-shirts from his website and sell them in Gaza,” Monir Edwan told WND, speaking by cell phone from Gaza.

“I know on the back of this story Obama rivals will present our business as a donation and they will try to use this story to let Obama fall, but I’m telling you, we bought T-shirts,” Edwan maintained.

Edwan said any profit made from purportedly selling the Obama T-shirts was not returned to the Obama campaign.

“We have nothing to do with the Obama campaign. We just like Obama and believe he will be the best for the Palestinians and for the world.”

At first Monir Edwan claimed he sold the T-shirts in Gaza for around $9 and that a profit was made.

“Some young men even bought the T-shirts for 60 shekel ($17.29), which is a lot to spend in Gaza on a T-shirt, but that is how much Gazans like Obama,” Edwan claimed.

But it was pointed out to Edwan the T-shirts for sale on Obama’s website are listed as $20.08 and that selling the merchandise for less would not yield a profit.

“Maybe we sold the shirts for a lot more. I can’t remember now,” said Edwan.

Asked why he would purchase T-shirts at such a high rate and pay the cost of shipping when he could pay a company to produce T-shirts for less, Edwan replied, “We wanted the shirts to come from the campaign.”

But Edwan could not explain how he managed to get shipments of T-shirts into the Gaza Strip during the months he claimed to have purchased the merchandise, since Israel imposed a tight closure of the Gaza Strip starting in June 2007 that lasted until June 2008, when the Israeli government agreed to a cease-fire with Hamas in Gaza.

“We don’t want to cause any damage to Obama’s campaign,” was Edwan’s reply.
The Obama campaign apparently did not return WND phone calls or e-mails.

Has Obama returned the money? If he hasn’t yet, then why did he feel like he didn’t need to? And is he going to? Obama may be in a lot of hot water with this, and he should be. This kind of violation should be taken seriously and a full investigation needs to take place. If everything is as it seems (and the evidence certainly looks solid), and Obama so blatantly violated election laws, then Obama certainly shouldn’t be President. Period.

Another me update
The Knucklehead of the Day award