Hamas terrorists 300.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced Tuesday that it has broken up a
Hamas terrorist council operating in Jerusalem and overseen by a group of senior
operatives who are residents of the city.
The five suspects, alleged to
be senior members of the council, were charged on Tuesday at the Jerusalem
District Court with serving in a terrorist organization and money laundering.
The State Prosecutor’s Office asked the court to extend their remand until the
end of legal proceedings.
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According to the Shin Bet, the council was
trying to bolster Hamas’s presence and activities in Jerusalem and was operating
secretly to raise funds overseas and smuggle the money into Israel. A number of
religious and educational committees operated under the council’s auspices and
were responsible for various activities, the ultimate goal being to strengthen
the ties of east Jerusalem residents with Hamas.
Alleged to have been
heading the council is Yakoub Abu Atzab, 39, a resident of the Old City. The
Shin Bet said he was convicted in 2005 by a military court for smuggling funds
into the West Bank to finance Hamas activities ahead of the 2006 parliamentary
According to the Shin Bet, the council succeeded in raising
NIS 2.5 million and bringing it into east Jerusalem through fictitious
contracts. It added that past experience had proved that Hamas civilian
activities inside Jerusalem lead to terrorist activities. As an example, the
Shin Bet referred to the Hamas terrorist who earlier this year planted a bomb
near the Jerusalem Central Bus Station, killing a British tourist and wounding
47 others. The terrorist, it said, had been active in Hamas civilian
institutions prior to his arrest.