Israeli media is reporting on claims by the country’s internal security service that a senior Hamas official arrested in April admitted in his interrogation that Hamas is exploiting the Islamic Movement in Israel to promote its interests in Jerusalem. According to a Haaretz report:
Israel’s internal security service claimed Thursday that a senior Hamas official arrested in April admitted in his interrogation that Hamas is exploiting the Islamic Movement in Israel to promote its interests in Jerusalem.
According to a Shin Bet statement, Mahmoud Mohammed Issa Toameh, a member of Hamas’ Shura Council who resides in Saudi Arabia, was arrested upon his arrival to the Allenby Crossing between Jordan and the West Bank on April 14.
The Shin Bet said Toameh’s interrogation revealed Hamas uses the Islamic Movement to transfer funds to its projects in Jerusalem, including payments for youths to maintain a presence at the Temple Mount under the guise of religious studies.
According to the Shin Bet, Hamas used the Islamic Movement to pay the youths a stipend of 4000-5000 shekels a month (between $1159 and 1140) for these activities.
Toameh also said the head of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch, Ra’ad Salah, is probably in secret communication with Hamas’ leadership, the Shin Bet claimed. The ties between the groups is kept secret, Toameh reportedly said, in order to prevent entanglement with Israeli authorities.
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Last week, the GMBDW reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to outlaw the northern branch of the Islamic Movement headed by Raed Salah, the leader of the Northern branch of the Islamic Movement, essentially comprising the Israeli Muslim Brotherhood. In November 2013, the GMBDW reported that Raed Salah had been convicted by an Israeli court of incitement to violence.
For a profile of Mr. Salah, go here.