Hamas suspects Gaza beggars are spies

Group spokesman: Security forces recently exposed "network of spies" for Israel deployed on streets.

April 16, 2009 01:25
1 minute read.
Hamas suspects Gaza beggars are spies

gaza aid 248 88 ap. (photo credit: AP [file])


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Hamas is convinced that many of the beggars who have popped up on the streets of the Gaza Strip are actually spies working for Israel. This was the first time ever that the Palestinians accused Israel of using beggars as informants. Palestinians who are convicted of "collaboration" with Israel are almost always sentenced to death. While most of the death sentences are not carried out, the accused are often killed by armed Palestinian groups or individuals. Islam Shahwan, spokesman for the Hamas-controlled security forces, said that his men recently uncovered a "network of spies" which had deployed many beggars at main street intersections and traffic lights throughout the Gaza Strip. He claimed that the ringleaders had exploited the economic crisis to recruit many poor children and women beggars as "collaborators" with Israel. He also accused the suspects of abusing the beggars sexually. "Many people in the Gaza Strip, especially the youth, have turned begging into a profession," Shahwan noted. "The [Hamas-run] Interior Ministry has decided to combat the phenomenon and over the past few days we have arrested many beggars and those who operate them." Social worker Nael Makadmeh warned that the phenomenon of begging had risen sharply over the past few months. He said that unlike in the past, where the majority of beggars were either disabled or elderly, the new street beggars came from a variety of ages and backgrounds.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Women Wage Peace
November 18, 2018
Jews and Arabs develop solutions for Middle East peace in hackathon