The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday that the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas used Gazans and Ramallah students to fund terrorist activities in Turkey and the West Bank. (Hamas funnelled ‘terror’ funds)
According to IDF spokesperson Avichay Adraee, the financing scheme was stopped by the Israeli Defense Forces and Shin Bet. It used student activists at Birzeit University in the West Bank and Gazans entering Israel for humanitarian reasons or with work permits.
According to the newspaper, a group of student activists at Birzeit University were detained by Israeli police after they were found to be in possession of credit cards that were used to transfer illegal funds from the Hamas leadership in Gaza to Hamas officials in Turkey.
Relations between Turkey and Hamas, which runs the blockaded Palestinian territory of Gaza, are just one of a number of issues that are causing tensions with Israel. An office in Istanbul has been run by the group, which is considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States, and a number of European nations. Hamas is being forced to carefully maintain its presence in the country as the normalization of relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv occurs. (Hamas funnelled ‘terror’ funds)
According to the Jerusalem Post, the financing scheme saw the money smuggled out of Gaza using individuals who entered Israel in search of work or humanitarian reasons. It stated that Birzeit University students would then withdraw the funds from ATMs in Ramallah and use them for “terrorist purposes,” such as funding Hamas activists affiliated with the Islamic bloc, whom Israel considers being student cells working for the group.
According to the daily, one of the scheme’s suspects, Khaled Sabah, was made head of Hamas in Jerusalem and met with Hamas officials Khaled Atoun and Musa Akari in Turkey. (Hamas funnelled ‘terror’ funds)
The Jerusalem Post reported that Sabah was also tasked with expanding the group’s operations and acquiring additional funds as well as recruiting new members.
Israel has criticized Turkey for years for supporting high-ranking Hamas officials with money or citizenship.
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